On August 7, 2022, at approximately 11:30 A.M., Kelowna RCMP were advised a man was being confrontational with citizens on the waterfront walkway at the foot of Bernard Street. The man was waving a hammer at people and is accused of causing damage to parked vehicles. The man was also spewing racial vulgarity at many people, including young children with their families.
Upon arrival, police immediately recognized the man, who had been released from police custody earlier that day. The man is known to be street entrenched, with mental health and substance use challenges. The man has resisted community outreach supports and does not appear to be on any housing wait lists. A Kelowna RCMP Community Safety Unit (CSU) Supervisor was consulted, he was very familiar with the individual and spoke about this as a ‘top priority for CSU’. He could attest to hours of work with this individual, connecting him to social services and Journey Home’s
Built for Zero housing program however this individual has declined help at every juncture.
In 2022, this man has generated over 22 police files, mostly for causing a disturbance and mischief, but including violent and other non-violent offences. During this most recent file, the man was successfully arrested but while being transported to cells, purposely defecated in the rear seat of the police vehicle.
This is an example of the challenges police are dealing with every day. We are continually arresting individuals for repeat criminal offences, but have no legal authorities to hold them in custody, and the complexities of their social and personal lives are such that we are stuck in a cycle of catch and release. We have to continuously seek to solve these situations upstream, as the downstream revolving door of enforcement is inadequate to solve this problem. Without well functioning and robust mental health and addiction services through mandated programs, individuals such as this person are going to be landing right back into our cells in no time and the revolving door process starts all over again said Cst. Mike Della-Paolera Kelowna RCMP Media relations Officer.
Kelowna continues to invest in upstream solutions such as the Community Safety Plan which pulls together social agencies to address those at most risk for future vulnerability and criminality, with an overall objective to increase efficiencies across systems and identify the needs to inform a proactive and preventative response to criminality in our community. Supt.Kara Triance.
Our police officers will continue to arrest those committing crimes, forward charges or seek alternatives and we require supports from the governments at all levels to address these social problems.
The man is facing four new charges for 01- Cause a Disturbance, Mischief Over 5, 000 X 3, Mischief Under 5,000 X 2 and Utter Threats. Court is scheduled for today.