Between March 16 and 23, Ponoka RCMP members demonstrated that while ‘justice may be blind … we are not’ and as a result we observed 28 people doing dumb, dishonest or dangerous deeds with our very own eyes. Not coincidentally that is the number of people lodged in our cells this week.
On Sunday afternoon, police stopped a vehicle which had a plate on it that did not match. The young man driving the vehicle seemed a little nervous. He explained that his nervousness was a result of being stopped by police in front of his grandmother’s house … especially with all of his family there too, for Easter supper. He explained that he did not want to have to go into Gran’s house and explain why he was stopped. After a few moments, the members were in a position to reassure the young man that he would not have to make any awkward explanations to his family; that he was going to be spending a significant amount of time in police custody instead.
Initially, he was stopped because of the misappropriated licence plate. When he was asked for the vehicles ‘papers’, he handed the member a marijuana cigarette (no explanation was asked for or offered). When he stepped out of the vehicle, police noticed the small baggy of cocaine on the floor, which was no longer being hidden by his foot. When he was searched, he was found to be in possession of a prohibited weapon, a wad of cash (to which he could not adequately account for) and a bag containing approx. $2,500 worth of ecstacy. To make matters worse, he was wanted on eight outstanding warrants for everything from ‘fail to appear’ to ‘drug trafficking’. One of the warrants was a $3,000 or 30 days in jail (pay or stay) warrant for ‘no insurance’ … which reminded the member to ask, “do you have insurance now?” So, no need to clumsily chronicle your contact with the cops in front of Gramma’s (for all the neighbors to see). Your secret is safe with me.
Police responded to a 911 call of ‘man down’. The witnesses reported that they had come upon ‘a man drenched in blood’ on the side of the road. He appeared to be ‘trying to get up but kept collapsing, in a heap, on the ground’. There was a mountain bike beside him and the contents of his backpack strewn about the area. From the quick glance they got, the witnesses were not sure if the man was the victim of a hit and run or of a drive-by shooting. The latter theory was later used to explain the witness’ sudden departure from the scene. Police searched the area and discovered (what we trained investigator types refer to as) the ‘point of impact’. This was the precise spot on the road where the critical incident had occurred and was defined by a section of road awash in a wet red gore, clotted with bits of pulp and meat. Scattered clothing and grocery items, a backpack and a bike were located nearby. Closer examination of the surrounding ditch revealed the body … or at least what would have been a body if it was not one of our regular drunks covered with the contents of a plastic four liter bottle of generic, extra chunky spaghetti and meat sauce, who was so drunk he could not stand.
Oddly enough, this is a semi-regular occurrence for this dude. He bikes into town to pick up his groceries, stops at the pub for a few pints of ale, visits the liquor store on the way back home, buys a bottle of peppermint schnapps, drinks most of the bottle before he leaves the paved road and crashes spectacularly soon thereafter. He is usually then the subject of a 911 call about a lifeless ‘body’ lying on the side of that same road. The addition of a ‘body’ covered in a tasty tomato meat sauce, in this case, was merely a bonus feature. This day (as did all such previous days) ended with him ‘sleeping it off’ in Tank One while his groceries spoiled in the prisoners effects locker.
Police were called to attend the local theater for a complaint of a man causing a disturbance there. What made this a little bit unusual was that the movie was over now and the disturbance was that the man was snoring enthusiastically and would not wake up. Police (who have a knack for such things) woke the man up. They suspected that the man’s deep sleep was the result of excessive drinking (and not just that “10,000 BC sucked”, as he claimed). He was lodged and spent the night.
One interesting thing came up during his release the next morning. He was making reference to his job as a profession. He stated that he was sent here by his superiors in Ontario to get the operations in Ponoka ‘back on track’. He spoke highly of his fellow employees and (good-naturedly) complained about some of the antics of the ‘rookies’ under his tutelage. It could have been a conversation a couple of fellow RCMP members would have … or a couple of comrades in the Canadian Armed Forces. I was surprised to learn that ‘chicken catchers’ share a similar degree of esprit de corp.
If you have information about any unsolved crime or ongoing criminal enterprise, call the Ponoka RCMP at 783-4472. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or now leave tips anonymously on-line at www.tipsubmit.com . If this is the kind of environment that you would like to work in, we are hiring. Check us out at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RCMP-GRC for information about the application process.