Two protesters arrested on Morice River Forest Service Road near Houston
2022-07-28 13:23 PDT
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, RCMP officers conducting routine patrols of the Morice River Forest Service Road were stopped at the side of the road near the 44 km mark, when they conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle which was the subject of several complaints from the previous week.
While interacting with the occupants of the vehicle and attempting to obtain information from the driver, a male passenger began and continued to blast an air horn towards the officers in an effort to prevent the investigation. The man was subsequently arrested for Mischief and Obstruction, and placed in the back of a police vehicle.
A group of approximately 30 protesters from the nearby encampment, some using their own vehicles, surrounded the police car to block it from leaving with the arrested man. Several individuals climbed on to the police car, some rocked it and one person kicked at the car, while others attempted to assist the man to escape.
Other officers from nearby RCMP detachments in Houston, Burns Lake and Smithers were called in to assist. When those additional officers attended, the group returned to their camp and the police vehicle was able to depart and transport the arrested man to the Houston RCMP Detachment. He was processed and released without conditions.
Several individuals attended the Houston RCMP Detachment in support of the arrested man. Officers recognized one woman who participated in surrounding the police vehicle on the forestry road to be the person who consistently banged on a drum directly into the ear of a police officer. She was also thought to have been responsible for kicking at the police car, causing damage. The woman was arrested for Mischief (for damaging the police vehicle) and Assault a Police Officer (for banging a drum near an officer’s head). Conditions of her release include not to be within 5 meters of a police vehicle and not to utilize a noise making device that can cause harm within 10 meters of a police officer.
Upon further investigation, it has been determined that the woman who was thought to have kicked the police vehicle was not the same person. Efforts are being made to locate and arrest the person responsible for the Mischief.
Both arrested individuals are to appear before the court on October 24, 2022.
Chief Superintendent John Brewer, Gold Commander of the Community-Industry Response Group, commends the professionalism and patience by those officers at the scene. He says
they displayed excellence in de-escalating a serious situation after being surrounded by a disorderly crowd. The officers are trained to ensure that everyone’s right to engage in lawful, peaceful and safe protest is protected. However, situations like these when attempts to intimidate and harass the police while executing their duties will not be tolerated. Violence is criminal and we will take action against anyone participating in these unlawful practices.
Cpl. Madonna Saunderson
District Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
4020 5th Avenue, Prince George, BC V2M 7E7
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