June 22nd, 2024

Vending machine incident costs man 30 days

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 19, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Causing a disturbance after losing $1.50 in a vending machine has netted a 41-year-old man a stint behind bars.

Waylon Girard Spear Chief was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge provincial court to charges of causing a disturbance and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Court was told that on July 17 Spear Chief was at the downtown transit terminal and attempted to purchase some food from a vending machine for $1.50. When the machine didn’t provide any food, Spear Chief became upset.

“Mr. Spear Chief took significant umbrage to this, and at that point began banging, slamming, kicking, screaming,” Crown Prosecutor James Rouleau said.

When a security officer responded to the commotion, Spear Chief brandished a “shiv” made out of a screwdriver and began swinging it around. He didn’t threaten anyone in particular, and after police were called he ran away.

Police, who had been told Spear Chief was armed, ultimately had to use force to apprehend him.

“Spear Chief, as a result of a $1.50, gets tasered,” Rouleau said.

Rouleau pointed out Spear Chief has a criminal record that extends from 1995 until 2021, and includes convictions for uttering threats and assaults.

Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan acknowledged the offences, and said police indicated that at times Spear Chief held the weapon to his own throat out of frustration.

“His memory of this is unclear,” Guinan added. “(He) suffers from homelessness, has a very unenviable record, but wants to try to change. But it seems like every time he gets back out, he gets in trouble again. Hopefully this is the last time.”

Spear Chief was sentenced to 30 days in jail, minus two days for time he spent in remand custody.

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