203155
203165
Kamloops  

Probation for man who punched cop in face after masturbating outside Lillooet home

'Creepy man' hid in bushes

WARNING: Some details in the following story are graphic and may be upsetting to readers.

A homeless man who punched a Mountie in the face after he was caught masturbating while hiding in a bush near a home in downtown Lillooet has been ordered to spend the next 15 months on probation.

Francis Anthony Copeland, 38, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday to one count each of assaulting a peace officer and committing an indecent act in a public place.

Court heard police were called to an address in downtown Lillooet on the morning of June 18 for a report of a man masturbating in public. A woman living in a nearby house told police her five-year-old daughter alerted her to the man’s presence.

“She told her mother, 'The creepy man is back in the bushes,’” Crown prosecutor Katie Bouchard said in court.

“When [the woman] went outside, she saw the man in the bushes who had his penis visible and he was clearly masturbating.”

When police arrived at the scene, they found Copeland inside a bush. He was fully clothed by then.

A Mountie asked Copeland to move along and he did, causing a big scene in the process. Bouchard said Copeland was yelling and swearing as he walked away down Main Street.

The officer followed Copeland and told him he was under arrest for causing a disturbance. Copeland then turned around and punched the constable in the face.

Backup arrived a short time later and Copeland was arrested.

Court heard Copeland is homeless. He was born and raised in Lillooet.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Lorianna Bennett agreed to a joint submission for 15 months of probation. Copeland served 73 days in jail awaiting sentencing, which entitles him to enhanced credit of 110 days time served — a factor Bennett considered in her sentence.

Copeland’s probation conditions will prohibit him from visiting any playground, schoolyard or day care. He will also be prohibited from being within 10 metres of any swimming pool, theatre or recreation centre.

In addition, Copeland was ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.



More Kamloops News

203518