July 22nd, 2024

Man arrested during police enforcement project pleads guilty

By Lethbridge Herald on June 13, 2024.

Delon Shurtz

A 32-year-old man with a history of criminal convictions for violence-related offences, racked up two more convictions stemming from assaults against a city businessman and police officer.

Carlin Tyler Weasel Fat was trying to engage in a fight with a downtown business owner who, on April 18, had seen Weasel Fat kicking the door of his business. The man told police he was working inside the store when Weasel Fat began kicking the locked door, and when he went outside and told Weasel Fat to leave, Weasel Fat took a swing at him and tried to get him to fight.

The business owner backed into the store, and immediately afterward police arrived to apprehend the assailant.

The appearance of police wasn’t just a coincidence. Officers were in the area as part of an enforcement project targeting crime and social disorder downtown, and a plainclothes officer saw the offender in front of the business on 5 Street South, where he was trying to fight the store owner.

“He watched Mr. Weasel Fat throw approximately three punches towards the other person who was backing away and eventually backed into the store,” Crown Prosecutor Robert Morrison said during a recent court hearing, where Weasel Fat pleaded guilty to two counts of assault.

The officer attempted to arrest and handcuff Weasel Fat, but he resisted and pulled away, and even “squared up” with the officer to fight him. The officer took Weasel Fat to the ground, but he continued to resist, even when two other officers arrived to help.

Weasel Fat was taken to the police station, and while being processed he kicked an officer and swung his fists at him, but none connected. Weasel Fat was again taken down and held there until he calmed down.

“He appeared to the officers to be very intoxicated,” Morrison said.

Weasel Fat was sentenced to 75 days in jail for the assaults, but given full credit for time he had already spent in remand custody, which completes his sentence. 

Defence noted Weasel Fat grew up in an abusive home, has struggled with alcohol and has lived on the streets since he was 16 years old.

The police enforcement project, which resulted in Weasel Fat’s arrest in April, was initiated in March when a combination of uniform and covert officers targeted offenders engaged in criminal activity in the city centre.

Members of the Downtown Policing Unit, Crime Suppression Team, Property Crimes Unit and Community Peace Officers, executed 31 outstanding warrants, arrested a total of 26 people, laid 21 new charges, seized nearly 40 doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine, reversed two overdoses by administering Narcan, recovered two stolen bikes, one stolen vehicle and issued various tickets.

Police also engaged with citizens, answered questions, addressed concerns and made people aware of their presence.

A news release issued in April indicated the targeted enforcement operation is expected to continue throughout 2024, and businesses and visitors in the downtown area can expect to see a heightened police presence on the days the teams are deployed and officers target high frequency offenders and areas with high volumes of crime.

The operation was developed by police as part of the Service’s 2024 Annual Policing Plan, to help increase visibility and capacity in the downtown core.

Police remind the public to continue reporting all suspicious and criminal activity downtown, or anywhere in the city, by calling 403-328-4444. LPS uses CompStat, a data-driven model where analytics are used to identify high-crime areas, prolific offenders and the most effective deployment of police resources. Knowing what is occurring, where it is happening and how often, helps give police an accurate picture of crime and disorder in the community, and enables more effective deployment of resources and enforcement strategies.

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