By Jennifer Saltman, The Province
Const. Bonnie Sauve has waited two years to tell James Weaver what went through her mind and how her life changed when he rammed her police car with an SUV.
“His actions have forever changed my psychological and emotional well being,” Sauve said through tears at Weaver’s sentencing hearing in provincial court in Surrey on Friday.
“That day, he chose to target not only a police officer, but a mother and a wife. When he deliberately struck me with the (Ford) Explorer, I thought I was going to die and all I could think of was whether I was going to see my children and husband again.”
Weaver, 49, was convicted in November of two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and two counts of assault with a weapon.
Shortly before 3 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2014, Weaver drove a Ford Explorer through the parking lot of the Surrey RCMP’s Newton district office, in the 7200-block 137th Street, at a high speed and hit Sauve’s parked police car, where she was sitting in the driver’s seat.
Const. Erik McFarlane was standing between Sauve’s police car and another, and was pinned between them.
McFarlane suffered a leg injury. Sauve had for soft-tissue injuries, a hematoma on her left shoulder and a torn rotator cuff. Both were taken to the hospital.
Weaver was not injured and was arrested at the scene. He has been in custody ever since.
Since the crash, Sauve has asked herself the same questions over and over: “Why me? Why my partner? Why someone you don’t know, whom you have never met and peace officers who have been selflessly putting their lives on the line to protect people, including the accused?”
Because of the incident, Sauve has lived with fear, hyper vigilance, anger, anxiety, sadness and stress. She struggles to feel safe at work — she remains an RCMP officer, but now works in Alberta — and worries about the next person who will try to kill her.
McFarlane has had similar struggles, according to his victim-impact statement, which was read out loud by a Crown prosecutor.
He missed a month of work and numerous training opportunities because of lingering injuries. He has flashbacks and a fear of cars that he never had before.
“I fear the accused will again commit an act of violence on the police and/or the public,” McFarlane wrote.
Sauve said she was grateful for the conviction and felt relieved to know that Weaver’s actions had consequences. She told him that his freedom has been taken away for a reason and that he will have to earn it back.
“God is giving him another chance to turn his life around,” she said. “Whatever that may be, he will have to figure that out.”
The sentencing hearing will continue at a later date.