A man who took a long, wet walk after a wild ride in the back of a stolen trailer believes an RCMP officer showed little compassion for his plight.
Brad Donaldson said he feared for his life when he woke from a dead sleep to find the trailer full of bikes he was sleeping in was on the move.
Having to walk from the Sun Rivers area where the van and trailer were abandoned to his Aberdeen hotel in the pouring rain and look for his lost dog was "brutal," Donaldson told The Daily News on Tuesday.
"There was absolutely no compassion from this guy for me or the loss of my pet," he said.
Fortunately, he was able to convince a young driver to give him a ride partway back to the hotel.
An RCMP report states Donaldson was upset and looking for his dog when an officer arrived on scene. Const. Cheryl Bush said the file noted that Donaldson didn't stick around and provide a statement.
"He was more concerned with taking off to find his dog," she said, "which is perfectly human."
Donaldson and two other employees with Marin Bicycles stayed at the Comfort Inn in Aberdeen Sunday night. The company sponsors the Canadian Motosport Racing circuit, which was in town for the weekend.
Donaldson said his colleagues spent the night in the hotel. He prefers to sleep in the trailer with the bikes and his two small dogs, Reggie and Daisy.
"I'm a camping kind of guy," he said.
He fell asleep some time between 10:30 and 11 p.m. Sunday. He awoke at 1 a.m. when the van started up.
"What the heck is going on here?" he thought.
Donaldson opened the trailer's side door and saw the vehicle was on the move. He didn't know it then, but Daisy jumped from the trailer.
So began a harrowing 20- to 25-minute ride as the thief or thieves behind the wheel sped onto the rain-slicked highway.
At times, it felt like the driver steered over medians and performed other dangerous manoeuvres that tossed Donaldson and the trailer's contents to and fro.
Donaldson phoned 911 on his cellphone and tried to provide the dispatcher with landmarks to help police track him, he said. He opened the door when possible and described gas stations and an RCMP detachment.
"I was not familiar with where I was going," said Donaldson.
Then the van came an abrupt stop. Donaldson waited for his abductors to open the trailer and discover him.
"That didn't happen," he said.
Donaldson scooped up Reggie but couldn't find Daisy. He climbed out of the trailer into the rain in his bare feet, underwear and T-shirt. He saw a man and woman parked near his vehicle, which had collided with a light post, he said.
"I handed the phone to them and said, 'Can you please explain where we are,'" said Donaldson, who went back to the trailer and looked for Daisy. "I thought she'd been crushed inside there."
He said the first officer on scene provided him with a phone number for a cab company, but didn't help him look for Daisy. Frustrated, he walked back to the hotel in hopes of finding the dog along the way.
Wet, tired and afraid for his pet's life, Donaldson found Daisy hiding under a vehicle when he got back to the Comfort Inn, he said.
Bush said it sounds like Donaldson endured quite an ordeal, adding he filed a complaint with RCMP. She's glad he found his dog.
Not being at the scene, Bush was hesitant to comment about what transpired between Donaldson and the officer. She said police follow protocols during an investigation and the member would be focused on piecing together what happened.
A police dog was dispatched, but the suspects eluded capture. An investigation is ongoing.