By Lethbridge Herald on June 16, 2018.
Striking a taxi driver with a weed pipe, then threatening to kill a police officer has netted a 28-year-old man a prison sentence.
Curtis Neil Wolfleg, who was convicted of robbery and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm following his trial in 2016, was sentenced Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to 28 months in a federal penitentiary.
While reviewing the facts of the case, Judge Paul Pharo explained that Wolfleg and another man, both of whom were intoxicated, caught a taxi in April 2015 and were given a ride to a Lethbridge apartment. The men paid the driver $15 in advance, but complained about the change they received after they arrived at their destination. While Wolfleg’s friend left the cab and entered the apartment building, Wolfleg argued with the driver before both men began fighting in the street.
Wolfleg pulled out what appeared to be a miniature axe, but which he claimed was a weed pipe, and began striking the cab driver with it. The driver was able to get away from his attacker when a woman in an SUV pulled up and told him to get in.
Wolfleg eventually walked to the apartment building, but not before kicking the taxi meter and stealing a tablet phone, some cords and a debit machine from the vehicle. The police found him shortly afterward passed out in the entrance to the apartment building.
Wolfleg was treated at the hospital for a swollen eye and cheek, and on the way back to the police station he told a police officer that he would kill him and his family.
“Do you have a family?” he asked the officer. “I’m going to find them and I’m going to kill them. I’m also going to (expletive) kill you. You think I’m joking, wait and see, I will (expletive) kill you. I will only get six years but I will end your life, you and your family.”
Pharo said that given Wolfleg’s angry tone, his lack of co-operation with police, and his intoxicated condition, the officer took the threats seriously and was concerned for his and his family’s safety.
During sentencing Thursday Pharo acknowledged Wolfleg’s difficult life and noted Wolfleg’s father died before he was born and his grandparents raised him on the Kainai Reserve beginning when he was eight years old, after his mother committed suicide. He began drinking when he was 16 and was badly injured in a car accident in 2011 — sustaining serious head trauma — and required several months of rehabilitation, during which he became hooked on drugs.
But Pharo said Wolfleg’s offences still warrant a prison sentence.
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