Man arrested, fined for refusing to follow COVID-19 orders in Langford
VICTORIA -- A Vancouver Island man has been arrested and fined after allegedly refusing to wear a mask and being verbally abusive to staff at a Langford gas station.
Police were called to the Peninsula Co-op at 2320 Millstrearm Rd. at 3:30 p.m. Monday for a man causing a disturbance.
West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar said the complaint was for a man who was not wearing a mask and was acting verbally abusive to staff.
The manager at the Co-op says that other customers were supporting staff and were asking the man to put a mask on or leave.
“That’s about the point he got belligerent about it, so he started shouting rules and regulations a little louder, resisting any sort of advice,” said Jeremy Teskey, manager of the Co-op gas station. “Some of the customers were getting a little bit belligerent at him, unfortunately.”
He said the man wasn’t responding to their requests to put a mask on.
“Which is really all we are looking for, we are just trying to keep everybody safe in the store,” he said.
A 40-year-old man from the West Shore was arrested and given a $230 fine under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act.
“He was later released on an undertaking to attend court for the charge of causing a disturbance,” said Saggar.
The gas station wasn’t the only place the man allegedly caused a disturbance Monday.
Video has surfaced on social media showing the same man acting belligerently to staff at a Starbucks on Helmcken Road in View Royal on Monday.
In the video, which was a taken at about 12:30 p.m., an employee can be heard asking a man to “stand on a square” to maintain physical distance from staff and other customers.
“I don’t stand where people tell me,” the man is heard saying. “I keep my distance and that is the law. If someone says stand and right here ... I am not your property.”
The employee then tells the man the store is following the provincial rules and regulations.
“You can’t tell someone where someone[can] stand on private properly,” the man can be heard saying.
James Whitney was at the Starbucks when the incident was unfolding and heard a man raising his voice at staff.
“The manager came up and he started to berate her about the rules and the law and where he could stand,” said Whitney.
“She was very polite and very calm,” he said. “The fellow was a big guy and towered over her.”
Whitney recorded the incident and posted it to Facebook. The video had been viewed over 80,000 times by Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s unfortunate for the staff that they have to put up with this daily,” said Whitney.
West Shore RCMP confirmed the man in the Starbucks incident is the same man they arrested at the Co-op.
On Wednesday, police said they again tracked down the man and issued him a second ticket under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for failing to wear a face covering at the Starbucks.