Gas-and-dash killer back to jail

Pratt arrested in Victoria after two weeks on the lam

Darnell Pratt surrendered to police on Saturday

The young man who dragged a Maple Ridge gas station attendant to his death is back in jail after two weeks on the run.

Darnell Darcy Pratt surrendered himself to Victoria Police in the 1100-block of Esquimalt Road around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Pratt, 22, was released from a federal penitentiary on Nov. 3, but failed to return to the Victoria halfway house he was staying at two days later.

Police issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest on Nov. 7.

“He contacted police, saying he was ready to give himself up,” said Const. Mike Tucker.

“From the time he went missing, he was one of the top priorities for the department. We were really active in pursuing him. I can’t speak for Mr. Pratt, but the pressure got to him.”

It’s the second time in a year Pratt has violated parole conditions.

Pratt was first granted statutory release in June 2010 and violated curfew just two days after he was paroled to a Kamloops halfway house.

Corinne De Patie, whose 24-year-old son Grant was killed by Pratt in 2005, was relieved to hear Pratt had been arrested.

She was told of his arrest by  from Correctional Service of Canada staff on Monday morning.

“We haven’t been sleeping well for the past 16 days,” said De Patie.

“It affects our bodies inside and we are really happy that we have this news.”

A parole officer will now determine whether Pratt will be allowed back into the community under conditions imposed by the parole board or refer the file back to the board for a suspension hearing.

If his file is referred to the parole board, the decision could take as long as three months.

Pratt was just 16 in March 2005, when he struck Grant De Patie in a stolen car while fleeing an Esso station on Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge without paying for gas.

Pratt dragged the 24-year-old under the car for 7.5 kilometres.

His sentence officially ends July 12, 2012.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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