July 24th, 2024

Man gets jail for uttering threats in park


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on September 20, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Threatening to kill people at a city park earlier this month has netted a 42-year-old man a stint in jail.

Waylon Girard Spear Chief was sentenced to three months in jail after he pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge court of justice to a single charge of causing a disturbance and two charges of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

On Sept. 10, police responded to a report that a man was “attacking a tree” with a knife at the Lions Centennial Park on 19 Avenue South. When officers arrived they heard an agitated Spear Chief yelling obscenities and saw him gesturing at adults and children in the park. During his arrest, police found him in possession of a hunting knife.

A witness who lives across the street told police his son had dropped off his children and warned him not to go to the park because a man was acting aggressively. The grandfather looked outside and did not see Spear Chief so he took his grandchildren to the park. Moments later Spear Chief walked toward him while yelling, and continued to yell when the man told Spear Chief to leave them alone.

“Mr. Spear Chief swore at them and told (the grandfather) ‘I’m going to kill you,'” said Crown Prosecutor Julian Spearchief-Morris.

Morris said Spear Chief threatened the man with a knife and a ukulele, and the man and his grandchildren left the park.

Another witness who was at the park with his children, told police he heard Spear Chief yelling and swearing, and saw him threaten the grandfather. Spear Chief had also approached the second witness and threatened to kill him, as well.

“(the man) was fearful for his safety and that of his children,” the Crown said.

Spear Chief, who has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for significantly violent offences, was sentenced to 90 days on each of the three charges, to run concurrently with each other. He was given credit, however, for 15 days spent in remand custody since his arrest.

“Given the circumstances of this offence where individuals were frightened but nobody was actually harmed, we submit that 90 days is appropriate.”

Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan told court alcohol played a factor in Spear Chief’s actions.

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