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Trail RCMP report belligerent panhandler and brazen bruin

As fall nears, Greater Trail police assist with plenty of calls
Black bears account for 14,000 to 25,000 calls per year to the Conservation Officer Service. Bears are most active from April to November. While most bear encounters result in the bear leaving an area, they can become more assertive or destructive when they have learned to associate humans and their activities with food. All bears that are aggressive in nature, or sightings in urban areas, should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at: 1.877.952.7277. Photo: Black Press Submitted/Louise Williams

Coming to the aid of a man with a crush injury, dealing with a belligerent panhandler and her spittle, attending a car crash allegedly involving an impaired driver, and shooing away an unafraid garbage-eating bear — these are just a few cases the Trail RCMP dealt with in mid-September.

Pinned man

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, Trail police, Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue, and the ambulance service responded to an accident scene on Lookout Street in West Trail. Upon arrival, first responders found a 29-year-old Trail man who was pinned between his vehicle and a locked gate.

The man was at the front of his vehicle and checking his engine when his vehicle, left in neutral, rolled forward. The weight of the vehicle pinned his leg against the gate and trapped him in place. After shouting for help for a few hours a nearby resident finally heard him and reported the yelling to the RCMP.

Firefighters used a specialized tool to free the man’s pinned leg from between the gate and vehicle. He was then transported by ambulance to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital for medical treatment.

“It was an unfortunate incident for the man to be caught in this unique position,” said Sgt. Mike Wicentowich. “We are happy that someone heard the yelling and contacted authorities to help bring this to a successful conclusion.”

Assault on police

Just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, a frontline Trail RCMP officer responded to an aggressive panhandler in the 700 block of Victoria Street, in downtown Trail.

Police say a 39-year-old Trail woman had allegedly been smacking the windows of vehicles parked in the drive-thru lane of a local business while demanding money from the occupants. The officer located and arrested the woman for causing a disturbance. The woman allegedly resisted her arrest, spit on the officer, and threatened to kill the officer.

The accused was later released on conditions and is slated for a court appearance to face criminal charges. Trail RCMP will forward three charges to Crown counsel for review: one count of causing a disturbance; one count of uttering threats; and assault of a police officer.

“Trail RCMP will continue to work with government, local partners, and the community in hopes of improving the safety and overall well-being of downtown Trail,” Sgt. Wicentowich said.

Impaired driving

The afternoon of Friday, Sept. 16, a frontline Trail RCMP officer responded to a report of a car crash on Highway 3B near Red Mountain.

The attending officer discovered that the car had sustained serious front-end damage and was blocking both lanes of the highway.

The officer located the driver, a 61-year old Trail man, a short distance from his vehicle.

After a brief investigation, the officer allegedly observed that the man’s ability to drive was likely impaired by alcohol.

A demand was read to the man, who provided a sample of breath roadside that resulted in a fail.

He was issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition and his vehicle is impounded for up to 30 days.

Sgt. Wicentowich adds, “Trail and Greater District RCMP officers will continue to make road safety a priority in the community.”

Brazen bruin

In the early evening of Friday, Sept. 16, a frontline Trail RCMP officer responded to a frantic report of a black bear eating garbage inside a residence in the 200-block of Railway Avenue, in the Trail Gulch. Until police arrived, the occupants hid from the bear inside locked rooms within their home. The officer attended and scared off the black bear as he approached the property. The officer observed that the bear had strewn garbage inside and outside of the residence. The officer requested that the occupants clean up the garbage to prevent further encounters.

“Please be Bear Smart by keep your garbage stored inside your residence securely and clean up any other food sources, like fallen fruit, outside your home to prevent negative human-bear encounters this fall,” advises Wicentowich.

For tips on avoiding human-wildlife interactions visit:

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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