Victoria police use social media to capture fugitive in France
VICTORIA -- A fugitive who allegedly tried to hit his ex-girlfriend and her new partner with his car has been captured by Victoria police in France.
In December 2016, Victoria police responded to a report of a car crash in the100-block of Gillespie Place.
The ex-girlfriend and her new partner were near their vehicle when they were struck by another vehicle. They told police there was a history of domestic violence between the ex-girlfriend and the driver of the other car.
Sebastien Jack Pierre Normandin, 48, was arrested for the incident and released on $5,000 bail in May 2017.
The conditions of his bail permitted him to live in Montreal so long as he checked into a parole centre twice a week, called his parole officer each day and underwent behavioural therapy.
But before his trial, he fled the country.
“Investigators later learned that he had fled to France where he was hiding from Canadian and French authorities,” said Victoria police Const. Matt Rutherford.
Normandin was wanted by Interpol, but remained active on social media, tweeting about philosophy and listing the reasons why he didn’t want to go to jail.
Detectives and several partnering agencies used warrants and tracking software to pinpoint exactly where he was in France.
“Once located, investigators began the lengthy process of working with Interpol, the Canadian Department of Justice and an RCMP officer stationed in France to request Normandin’s extradition back to Canada to stand trial,” said Rutherford.
After a 12-month investigation, Victoria police detectives flew to Paris last week and on Friday brought Normandin to Victoria where is now in custody.
“This has been a very lengthy process and I’m really proud of our entire team for being dedicated to this file to ensure our community knows that we take these files very seriously,” said Det.-Sergeant Shawn Robson.
Normandin, a bilingual native of Quebec, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, assault causing bodily harm, criminal harassment, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, assault and failure to comply with conditions, according to Interpol.
Some of the charges appear to be linked to an earlier case of alleged domestic violence, which police cited following his arrest in Victoria.
“Without the amazing efforts from our community partners here on Vancouver Island as well as in France, Mr. Normandin would still be at large,” said Robson.
Interpol is designed to help police agencies around the world co-ordinate their efforts to apprehend wanted individuals.
Normandin will remain in custody pending a bail hearing.