Kelowna bylaw officer allegedly assaulted at Rail Trail site

Alleged attack on bylaw

A Kelowna bylaw officer was allegedly assaulted Wednesday while working at the designated homeless camping site along the Rail Trail.

RCMP say the incident involving two men and a bylaw officer occurred at around noon at the camping site at 890 Baillie Ave.

"Two men who utilize the services at [the outdoor sheltering site] were arrested by RCMP and later released by police on undertakings to appear in court June 15," said Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

Kelowna bylaw services manager Kevin Mead says the incident happened as part of the normal course of the bylaw officer's duties.

"We do manage the site on a daily basis out there. And by manage, I mean, we ensure that all the refuse is gathered up and in the interest of health, safety, and security, of all members of the community including those that are using the site as well as those that pass by."

Mead says he can't comment on the specifics of the incident because the matter is under police investigation.

"It was during routine operations, which does have an element of risk in it every day."

RCMP say two men were arrested after the incident escalated and a weapon was reported.

"We're in constant contact with the police. They were not there at the time and we called them, and they responded immediately," Mead says.

"While a weapon was present, no individual was struck with it. The bylaw officer and one of the accused sustained minor injuries," says Cpl. Gauthier.

RCMP have forwarded charges to the BC Prosecution Service. The alleged attackers cannot be named until those charges are approved.

Mead says he is proud of the conduct of the city's bylaw officers, "particularly in these high-stress situations."

"Their training and their professionalism sets them above, many other communities. And there will be more that will come out of this for sure as the police investigation goes on."

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