A North Vancouver RCMP officer lauded in the past for keeping roads safe was handed almost $700 in fines Tuesday after admitting he blew through a speed trap at more than 60 kilometres an hour above the speed limit and led fellow officers on a high-speed chase as part of an of fduty prank.
Const. Michael Milo Arbulic, 38, of the North Vancouver RCMP detachment, was handed the fines for excessive speed under the Motor Vehicle Act for racing at high speed along Highway 1 while off duty at 1 a.m. on Feb. 14 this year.
Crown counsel Nick Barber said Arbulic led North Vancouver RCMP officers on a five-kilometre pursuit, and that police in neighbouring West Vancouver were called to assist before Arbulic eventually stopped his vehicle in West Vancouver and revealed his identity.
Barber said Arbulic admitted he floored it through the speed trap "in order to prank the other officers who were running the radar."
Arbulic was not handed a speeding ticket after the incident, nor was his vehicle impounded.
But at least one fellow police officer was not amused by the joke and reported the incident, prompting an investigation and review by the RCMP's professional standards unit. Results of that review have not been made public.
Arbulic did not appear in court Tuesday, but his lawyer David Butcher said the officer - who has been a member of the RCMP since 2005 - has "already apologized to everybody involved."
Judge Steven Merrick of the North Vancouver provincial court handed
Arbulic a $483 fine for excessive speed plus a further $210 fine to account for impoundment fees that would normally have been paid if the officers on scene had impounded his vehicle.
Butcher said Arbulic will see his insurance premiums go up as a result of the speeding ticket. He has also made a donation to the B.C. Cancer Foundation, said Butcher.
Outside the court, Butcher refused to answer further questions about the incident. The RCMP's E Division headquarters was also providing few details about the incident.
In April, Arbulic was publicly recognized as a member of "Alexa's Team," a designation given to police officers for outstanding work in keeping streets safe. The team is named after Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl killed by a speeding drunk driver.
Typically drivers clocked at 40 km/h more than the posted speed limit are subject to hefty fines under the Motor Vehicle Act and often have their cars impounded on the spot for seven days.
In April, police in West Vancouver called out a police helicopter to assist after a 24 year-old motorcyclist doing more than 140 km/h failed to stop for Squamish RCMP on the Highway 99. The driver was later handed more than $1,000 in fines and had his motorcycle impounded for three weeks.
In August 2012, four members of the local chapter of the Porsche Club of America were also pulled over after a West Vancouver police officer reported the luxury car drivers reaching speeds of between 125 and 131 km/h in an 80-zone. In addition to hefty fines, the drivers had their cars impounded for seven days.
Court records list a 38 year-old Michael Milo Arbulic as receiving a previous ticket for excessive speeding in Burnaby in July 2004 and other speeding tickets in January 2000 and July 1998.
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