TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A man wanted in connection with three deaths in northern Quebec has been captured after a police chase in Florida that involved sniffer dogs and a helicopter — and left one officer with a broken nose.
Justin Bresaw, 35, was the subject of a Canada-wide arrest warrant and an alert by Interpol after a house fire last month in Amos, Que., about 500 kilometres north of Montreal.
He is facing first-degree murder charges in relation to the two men and a woman found dead in the home.
After eluding police for more than two weeks, Bresaw was spotted in Tallahassee, Fla in the predawn hours on Sunday charging a laptop in an electrical outlet behind a church.
David Northway, a spokesman for Tallahassee police, said an officer on patrol asked Bresaw what he was doing outside so late.
"Of course, this is kind of suspicious since it's 1:30 in the morning," Northway said in an interview.
"Not too many people are sitting behind a church typing on a computer, so he (the officer) got out and started to talk to him."
Bresaw gave a false name at first, Northway said, and tried to flee the scene while the officer was entering his real name into a police database.
Bresaw resisted arrest and managed to escape after a scuffle, Northway said, who added the officer involved was left with a gash on his face and a broken nose after he fell into a metal support beam.
"It was quite the fight," said Northway. "Mr. Bresaw was able to get away from him and run."
Northway said sniffer dogs and a helicopter were used to track down Bresaw after he fled into a wooded area. He was found three hours later hiding underneath a house.
Bresaw was booked Sunday morning at a county jail in Florida and is facing charges there including resisting an officer with violence and battery on an officer.
In Quebec, he is wanted in connection with the deaths of Rene Deschatelets, Diane Duhaime and Jean-Guy Labelle.
Christine Coulombe, a spokeswoman for Quebec provincial police, said Sunday the extradition process is underway to bring him back to Canada. That process could be held up by the charges Bresaw now faces in Florida.
"We don't know how long it will take," Coulombe said.
Police had been on Bresaw's trail since last month.
On Sept. 20, three days after the fire, a stolen car allegedly driven by Bresaw was found in a wooded area near Havelock, Ont., northeast of Peterborough.
- by Benjamin Shingler in Montreal