Local briefs – January 13

Free park and ride service for Red Deer’s Olympic Torch celebration at Westerner Park on Friday will be available from Parkland Mall and Notre Dame High School.

Torch park and ride set

Free park and ride service for Red Deer’s Olympic Torch celebration at Westerner Park on Friday will be available from Parkland Mall and Notre Dame High School.

Barrier-free transit service, for example for people in wheelchairs or with walkers, will be available at both locations, but Notre Dame school, at 50 Lees St, is the preferred location.

Wheelchair loading at the Parkland Mall location is difficult due to ground level grade.

Limited paid parking will be available at Westerner Park.

Bus service will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will run every five minutes. The last bus will leave Westerner Park at 9:30 p.m.

The Olympic Torch Relay Community Celebration is a free, outdoor event that runs from 5 to 9 p.m.

For more relay information, go to www.reddeer.ca


Locked vehicle scam

RCMP are advising people to beware of a man claiming he needs money because he’s locked out of his vehicle.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said the sympathy scam man will approach someone and claim that he needs cash to pay for a locksmith because he’s locked himself out of his vehicle.

The con man claims he has accidently locked his wallet in his vehicle and the locksmith will only take cash.

The suspect also sometimes claims animals are locked in his vehicle.

Other claims in the past have also been reported of con artists needing money for cab or bus fare and medical needs.

Grunow said the male suspect is Caucasian and stands about 1.8 metres (six feet) and weighs about 85 kg (190 pounds). He is about 40 years of age with a red complexion and grey and brown hair.

If approached, people should call police at 403-343-5575 or 1-800-222-8477.


Gas station robbery suspect being sought

Police are on the hunt for a robber who held up Short Stop Fas Gas in Riverside Meadows early Tuesday morning.

Red Deer City RCMP responded at 2:42 a.m. after a lone male entered the store, demanded cash and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

He was last seen on foot, southbound in the alley behind the store, located at 5926 54th Ave.

The suspect concealed his face from the clerk, but he was wearing a black and red jacket turned inside out and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on the identity of the robber is asked to call Red Deer City RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report it on line at wwwtipsubmit.com


Bankruptcy charges laid

A Ponoka man is scheduled to appear in Red Deer court today on Criminal Code charges laid under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Allan Melvin Bonnett, 60, was charged following an investigation by the RCMP Calgary Commercial Crime Section, said Const. Lane Menard of Calgary RCMP.

The investigation started with an order received from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

Bonnett is charged with two counts of making a false entry in a statement of accounting, removing property due from the bankruptcy and fraud of more than $5,000.


Arrest warrant issued

A Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued for a 35-year-old man with a criminal history dating back 20 years.

Gerald Harvey, who has lived previously in Central Alberta, is wanted by police for being unlawfully at large.

He had been serving a two-year federal jail term for 10 counts of uttering threats, criminal harassment, unlawful confinement, harassing telephone calls, assault, obstruction, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and failing to comply with court orders.

Harvey was on statutory release at the time.

Harvey has a previous criminal record for robbery with violence, attempting to escape lawful confinement, property offences and unlawful confinement.

He is described as Caucasian and is 1.73 metres (five feet, eight inches) tall and weighs 82 kg (181 pounds). He has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is urged to phone 1-800-222-8477.


Stettler youth in court

A 15-year-old Stettler youth was ordered to appear in court in February following a knife incident on Monday.

The youth was arrested about 4 p.m. in the 4700 block of 55th Street in Stettler by RCMP responding to a complaint.

The youth was taken to the detachment, questioned and then released with strict conditions into the custody of his parents, Sgt. Rowland Schmidt of Stettler RCMP said on Tuesday.

The accused will appear in Stettler youth court on Feb. 9 to face charges of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats.

The youth’s name is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

No other details are being released by police.


Rocky-area gun charges

A Rocky Mountain House area man apparently got more than he bargained for when he showed up at a residence allegedly brandishing a shotgun early on Tuesday.

Rocky RCMP responded to an incident at 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday at the Sunchild Reserve. It’s alleged a 27-year-old male arrived at a residence, knocked on the door and pointed a shotgun at a male resident.

Cpl. John Harrison of Rocky RCMP said the resident slammed the door in the suspect’s face after pushing the shotgun away from his own face.

The suspect remained in the yard, pointing the gun at the windows in the house.

Soon after calling police, two male residents left the house and confronted the shotgun-wielding man.

A physical confrontation ensued in which the shotgun was wrestled away from the suspect.

When police arrived, they found the suspect injured in the yard.

He was transported by STARS ambulance to an Edmonton hospital.

Harrison said the investigation continues and charges of uttering threats, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and mischief are pending against the injured suspect.


Inmate awaits trial date

A federal prison inmate charged with attempted murder following a knifing at Bowden Institution returns to court next month to perhaps set a trial date.

Joseph Alexander Mason, 45, is also charged with aggravated assault in the Nov. 14, 2008, incident.

He was ordered to stand trial following a hearing late last year at which 15 witnesses were called by the Crown, including Corrections Canada officers, RCMP officers and two other inmates, in addition to a former inmate who was released after the incident.

The 47-year-old alleged victim, who has since been released from jail, suffered stab wounds to his abdomen, chest and back after another inmate attacked him with a sharpened metal spoon.

Three weeks will be necessary for the trial.


Flu clinics next week

Influenza vaccination clinics are continuing next week across Central Alberta.

Area residents will be able to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus, as well as the seasonal flu bug, at the following times and locations.

On Monday, Jan. 18, from:

• 1 to 4 p.m. at the Innisfail Health Centre, 5023 42nd St. By appointment only — 403-227-7800.

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre, 5016 52nd Ave. By appointment only — 403- 845-3347.

• 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre, 4602 49th Ave. By appointment only — 403-887-2241.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, from:

• 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stettler Community Health Centre, 5911 50th Ave. By appointment only — 403-742-3326.

• 1 to 7 p.m. at Red Deer’s First Christian Reform Church, 16 McVicar St. Drop in only.

• 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Three Hills Health Centre, 1504 2nd St. North. By appointment only — 403-443-2444.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, from:

• 9 a.m. to noon at the Eckville Community Health Centre, 5419 44th St. By appointment only — 403-746-2201.

• 1 to 6 p.m. at the Ponoka Community Health Centre, 5900 Hwy 2A. Drop in only.

On Friday, Jan. 22, from:

• 9 a.m. to noon at the Innisfail Health Centre, 5023 42nd St. By appointment only — 403-227-7800.

Residents should bring a piece of identification, their Alberta Health card and wear short sleeves, if possible.

For more information, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca or call Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).


Police calls on average

RCMP calls for service kept on the weekly pace with the averages for November and December, statistics for the week ending Sunday indicate.

Police received a total of 636 calls compared with numbers of 620 to 700 a week over the last two months of 2009. The average in the early fall was more than 700.

Break-ins to businesses and residences were slightly above the average, at 20, while domestic violence calls were 20, a slight decrease from the previous average.

Other statistics include:

• 28 assaults

• 12 motor vehicle thefts

• 109 bylaw infractions

• 14 drug investigations

• 10 frauds

• 18 mischief

• two robberies

• 22 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities

• 41 thefts

• 118 victim services assistance.


Break-in suspect named

Red Deer City RCMP have released the name of a man charged with breaking into a Red Deer retirement complex on Monday.

Andrew Cobb, a 29-year-old Calgary man, has been remanded into custody.

He is set to appear in Calgary provincial court on Feb. 5.

Cobb has been charged with break and enter and theft under $5,000.

Police attended the Masterpiece Aspen Ridge building, located in the 3100 block of 22nd Street, shortly before 2 a.m.

A staff member reported hearing glass breaking.

Police searched the exterior of the building and spotted a male suspect inside.

Residents helped police into the locked building.

The suspect was apprehended by a Red Deer RCMP police service dog, police said.