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Criminal Harassment

On August 17, 2019, police were alerted to the presence of a male in the area of 19 St SE, who appeared to be watching and subsequently approaching his female victims, in a manner that was causing alarm and distress to the victims and their accompanying children.  The male was reported to be driving a silver dually Dodge RAM with Alberta Plates.  This male was located shortly after by police in the area of 13 Ave SE, Medicine Hat and arrested for 2 counts of Criminal Harassment.  A subsequent investigation revealed two further victims of his activity and a further 2 counts of Criminal Harassment were laid.  The male, who can now be identified as Robert Horan, 34 years, of Redcliff Alberta was the subject of a Judicial Interim Release Hearing and was released for a future court appearance on August 29th to answer to the charges.  He was placed on release conditions by the court, of no contact with his victims, not to go within 200 meters of their residences, not to possess any weapons, not to have any contact with a child under the age of 14 years and he is banned from going to any public park, swimming pool, daycare center, school ground, playground or community center.  Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all such suspicious activity to MHPS.  The public is reminded that MHPS does not accept reports via Facebook. 

Media contact

Staff Sergeant Darren Lole

 

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Domestic Assault and Uttering Threats

On August 12, 2019 at about 6:00 pm police received multiple 9-1-1 complaints of a male hanging onto the outside of a grey GMC Acadia as it was driven in the area of Dunmore Rd SE and Southview Dr SE. Witnesses observed the female driver asking for help as she drove the vehicle with a male holding onto the opened rear window of the vehicle. The vehicle came to a stop on Dunmore Rd SE near 20 Ave SE. The 37 year old male, who had been holding onto the outside of the vehicle, he was treated by Paramedics for minor injuries, and is in police custody awaiting a Bail Hearing on the charge of Uttering Threats. The 42 year old female driver of the vehicle was unharmed. It was later determined that the two individuals involved were domestic partners and are not from Medicine Hat or area.

The 37 year old male is in custody awaiting a bail hearing, the name of the accused cannot be released as the Bail Hearing has not been completed.

The Medicine Hat Police Service would like to thank the public for its assistance in this matter as well as stressing the importance of reporting all domestic violence related incidents.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt. Stacey Kesler

Patrol Section

Medicine Hat Police service

Ph: 403-529-8461

 

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Structure Fire in Crescent Heights

On August 10th at approximately 2:30AM police responded to a structure fire at the Northlands multi-dwelling complexes. Upon arrival, one of the dwellings was billowing smoke and flame from the patio and exterior wall(s). Emergency services suppressed the fire as police checked on the well being of area occupants. Fortunately no one was injured and the scene was deemed safe for the area residents.

Police located the person responsible for igniting this fire. a young boy (under the age of 12) was found to be responsible for starting the fire. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, criminal charges cannot be laid on a person under this age threshold (Arson).

Police utilized the MHPS mobile app to publish an immediate notification to subscribed local residents to avoid this area. This immediate form of communication to our community serves as an invaluable tool to help police mitigate public safety and allow our emergency personnel to do their work.

S/Sgt Fraser #279

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Male charged with Weapon Offences

On August 7 at approximately 4:30pm an officer attended to a multi-dwelling unit in the downtown core for a routine follow up on a complaint. The attending officer arrived at the complex parking lot intending to speak with a person about a minor compliant. As the officer was walking to the building he observed a male, unrelated to the call for service, standing in the lot holding a hand gun and he appeared to be manipulating the weapon as if he was trying to place a round into the chamber. The officer responded to this by drawing his service firearm and issued verbal police challenges for the male to drop the weapon. Several verbal commands to drop the gun were ignored and the officer placed a radio call for immediate back up. The male then started closing the distance towards the officer, simultaneously stuffing the gun in his waist band. The suspect then stumbled and fell into a seated position on the ground and still did not relinquish the weapon as directed. The male then began reaching for the weapon in his waistband at which time a second officer arrived on scene. The male, resisted arrest and was able to be controlled by both officers.

This male was then secured into custody and the weapon was seized from his waistband. This handgun was then discovered to be a replica firearm. The male was also noted to be under the influence of alcohol and possible narcotics.

The male is being held in custody to await a Judicial Interim Release hearing on the following charges:

  • Possess weapon dangerous to public peace
  • Breach of Undertaking
  • Breach of Probation
  • Outstanding warrants

“Replica firearms” by definition, look and feel like a real firearm, hence the term “replica”. When these devices are abused in such as a fashion, a great amount of risk comes with that behavior. Responding police are put in a critical position and have to make rapid decisions to assess the threat. There is no “time-out” for an officer to get a close look and analyze the weapon to see if its real or not. It is very fortunate that these two seasoned officers were able to diffuse this crisis as it had a high risk of becoming a lethal confrontation.

The males name is not being released as the bail hearing as not yet been conducted.

Media contact

S/Sgt Fraser 279

403-529-8461

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Parvo Virus

On July 27 2019 The Medicine Hat Municipal Enforcement Section responded to a complaint about a puppy that had been bought from a local resident. The complaint was that the puppy became ill, requiring vet care. The puppy was treated and tested positive for the PARVO Virus, a deadly highly contagious disease if puppies are not vaccinated for it.

When the officer attended the location identified as the breeders home, no puppies remained in the care of the sellers, all 9 puppies in the litter had been sold and were in the care of the new owners. It was confirmed that none of the puppies had visited a vet yet or had been vaccinated.

The Alberta SPCA was contacted and they provided the following response. “The dog breeding industry is unregulated so there is no standard of care they must provide before selling their puppies. Legally, breeders can be held accountable if they are denying animals vet care when they are sick or injured. So, if a dog has parvo, they have to seek medical care, but they do not have to provide vaccinations before selling the puppies”. Unfortunately, this virus can be present and contagious days before the clinical symptoms begin to show, but once the symptoms such as vomiting, severe and often bloody diarrhea and a very lethargic behaviour, a vet visit is required by law.

The Alberta Animal Protection Act is the legislation available to investigate and enforce animal care and treatment in our Province and according to the Alberta SPCA there is insufficient evidence to prove intent and knowledge that the puppies were infected with Parvo and left untreated by the breeders.

When people knowingly take custody of an unvaccinated pet they assume all responsibility. This is why most animal professionals advise against obtaining pets from what is commonly described as Back Yard Breeders.

The Municipal Enforcement Section is now looking at preventive measures to avoid further risk of Parvo in this community that may be linked back to this location and breeding pair. Although the breeders do not believe Parvo was present in their home they are willing to work with officers to prevent any further risks.

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Increased Property Offences -Crescent Heights

The Medicine Hat Police Service has noted a trend of vehicle entries and bicycle thefts throughout the City, but specifically in the Crescent Heights area of Medicine Hat. Occurrences has been mainly in the late night hours Thursday – Tuesday between 11:00 p.m. and 430 a.m.

The Police Service is requesting the publics’ assistance in these matter by ensuring vehicles are locked, and all valuables are removed or secured, and any suspicious activity it reported to the Police Service immediately.

In response to this trend the Police Service will augment resource deployment; with the aim the identify offenders and hold them accountable for any illegal activities.

Anyone with information that could assist with this investigation is asked to contact the Medicine Hat Police Service at 403-529-8481 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 -222-8477 (TIPS). Tips may also be submitted (anonymously if preferred) via the MHPS Mobile App, which is free and available to download for both Apple and Android devices by searching ‘Medicine Hat Police Service’ on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Attached is a “heat map” of recent complaints. Areas in Red have shown a greater activity.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt. Ryan Thorburn
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police service
Ph: 403-529-8481

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August 2019 Bylaw Education and Enforcement Program

The Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Section of the Medicine Hat Police Service will be focusing on fire pits and outdoor burning in August 2019.

 

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces shall meet the following requirements:

 

1. A minimum of 3 meters (10 feet) clearance shall be maintained from any buildings, property lines, overhead wires, trees or any combustible materials.

 

2. Installations shall have enclosed sides, a minimum height of 450mm (18 inches from ground level) and a maximum width of 900mm (36 inches).

 

3. Installations shall be made of bricks, concrete blocks, heavy gauge metal or other suitable non-combustible components.

 

4. A spark arrestor mesh screen of ½ inch expanded metal (or equivalent) to contain sparks shall be provided for over the fire.

 

5. Only clean fuel shall be used (clean, dry wood or charcoal).

 

6. Fires must be supervised at all times.

 

Refuse or waste materials, including leaves, shall not be burned as this will create dense smoke or offensive odors.

 

Permits for fir pits and outdoor fireplaces are issued by the Fire Department ph: 403-529-8282.

 

To report a bylaw offences please call our complaints line at 403-529-8481.

 

Supervisor Heather Trail
Peace Officer i/c,
Municipal Bylaw Enforcement

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August STEP: New Drivers/ Distracted Drivers

The MHPS will be focusing on Young Drivers in the month of August as part of the province wide Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of young people in Alberta. Age, inexperience, distraction and peer pressure are significant factors in vehicle related injuries and death during the teen years. Crash rates for young drivers are the highest when there are teen passengers in the vehicle and when driving at night. One in five new drivers will be involved in a collision in their first year of driving.

 

Parents play a vital role in teaching their teens to drive. Parents of teen drivers should set a good example behind the wheel, and set specific rules for their teen driver and stick to them. Parents can also enroll their teen driver in driver education, and most importantly, help your teen to practice driving.

 

Did you know? In Alberta, a parent of a driver under 18 years of age must give written consent to allow their teen to get their operator’s license. Parents can revoke that permission at any time, and their teen’s operator’s license will be revoked. Parents maintain that right until their teen reaches the age of 18 years. If a parent or legal guardian wishes to withdraw parental consent, they may be required to submit their request in writing to any Alberta Registry Office. The parental withdrawal MUST be initiated by the same parent/person who signed the original consent form.

 

In August, the MHPS will also focus on Distracted Drivers, which continues to be a traffic safety priority. Many motorists continue to operate their vehicles while distracted, regardless of the fines and demerits associated with the offence. The risks associated with distracted driving closely resemble those of impairment, and it’s no surprise that governments are taking that next step to try and limit these occurrences.

 

In Alberta, the penalty for distracted driving is a $287 fine and three (3) demerit points. Drivers also need to be aware that the legislation is not specific to only texting or talking on a device, but states it is an offence to “hold, view, or manipulate” a hand-held device.

The Traffic Safety Act restricts drivers from:

  • Holding, viewing or manipulating hand held cell phones, whether talking, texting or emailing
  • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (MP3 players)
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching
  • and personal grooming

A driver can pull over to the side of the road to use their devices, providing they are stopped and legally parked. If a driver is not in a legal parking spot, for instance a drive-thru, a ticket can still be issued. The only time a driver can use their cell phone while driving is to call in an emergency situation to a 9-1-1 Communications Centre.

 

For more information, contact:

Sgt. Clarke White
Traffic Unit
Medicine Hat Police Service
403-529-8471

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Motor Vehicle Collision

On July 30 at approximately 2 pm Police and additional emergency services responded to the westbound lanes on the TC highway at 16th St SW for a multi vehicle crash. 4 vehicles were involved. 2 persons were transported to MHRH with undetermined injuries. This incident is causing traffic delays and emergency services remain on scene until the roadway can be cleared.  Damage is estimated to be in excess of $40,000.00.  MHPS traffic services continue to investigate the cause of the crash.   No further information will be released as the investigation is ongoing.  

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Higdon Arrest

Jason Higdon was located and arrested this evening by the Medicine Hat Police Service. Higdon had been wanted in connection to several offences in and around the Medicine Hat area. He is currently in custody and facing charges of; Flight from a Peace Officer, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Possession of Stolen Property Over $5000.

 

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