Photo: Nicholas Johansen
John Aronson is arrested in April 2018.
“I really hope we don’t see you here again,” Judge Clarke Burnett said at the conclusion of John Aronson’s May 2021 hearing.
“Me too,” Aronson replied.
But Aronson, a longtime repeat offender in Kelowna with a criminal record dating back to 2006, is now facing additional charges following an incident last July. The alleged offenses took place less than two months after the expiry of his previous sentence, and while he was still on probation.
He is currently out on bail.
Aronson’s most recent contact with the law stems from an alleged robbery at Kelowna on July 5, although the details of the robbery aren’t clear at this time. As a result, Aronson was charged with theft with a limited firearm, along with five other firearms offenses.
He was arrested on July 21 and remained in custody until September 16, when he was released on bail by Judge Brian Daley. The next one is scheduled to appear in court on October 20.
Aronson has been involved in several high-profile police incidents around the Central Okanagan in recent years, the most recent taking place on September 23, 2019. Just hours after being released from custody on previous convictions, Aronson was followed by police over the Bennett Bridge towards West Kelowna.
Aronson was forbidden to drive and when the officer tried to stop him, he tried to flee. He didn’t get very far, though, skidding on the wet highway and crossing the median strip before being shoveled by an oncoming truck.
Aronson was seriously injured in the crash and spent two months in hospital. As a result of the crash, he was confined to a wheelchair for months. In May 2021, Aronson was sentenced to three years and four months for the 2019 crash, but credited for time served, he only had one year left to serve.
In September 2021, he was denied parole over concerns about his “violent violations, poor supervisory history and inconsistent behavior at your current institution”. He would have served his entire sentence in custody, until May of this year.
Before fleeing from police and crashing in September 2019, Aronson was convicted of six offenses resulting from a January 2019 incident outside the CIBC near Orchard Park Mall. During his arrest, he was shot by police and bitten by a police dog.
During his sentencing on the matter, Aronson told the court: “Obviously what has been done was a good eye opener and I want to be there for my children, except I was in a bad state of life and I was using. I didn’t care what I did. It took control of my life. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and you won’t see me here again.”
During his May 2021 sentencing, Judge Clarke Burnett called Aronson’s words “meaningless.”
Aronson has been a close acquaintance with the police for several years. He had previously been arrested in two “risky takedowns” in Rutland, in connection with a violent break-in in West Kelowna in 2017.
After his first arrest on those charges, he was released on bail and soon stopped attending court. Police found him and carried out a second “risky removal.”
Despite the best efforts of the RCMP, the Crown eventually dropped Aronson’s seven charges from the 2017 hiatus and came in in November 2018, after the prosecutor determined that “the standard for adjudicating the charge was no longer being adhered to.” “.
Aronson’s record dates back to 2006 in Kelowna, when the then 18-year-old was sentenced to 30 days in prison for obstructing a cop and escaping from custody.