Tent city organizer arrested after allegedly blasting air horn in firefighter's ear
Chrissy Brett, who helped establish the Regina Park encampment near the Trans-Canada Highway, was arrested for allegedly interfering with fire inspectors, according to police. July 6, 2018. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, July 6, 2018 1:21PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 6, 2018 3:53PM PDT
Saanich police say they've arrested the high-profile organizer of a growing tent city on possible charges of obstruction.
Chrissy Brett, who helped establish the Regina Park encampment near the Trans-Canada Highway, was arrested for allegedly interfering with fire inspectors, according to police.
Firefighters, with support from police and parks staff, were at the site to ensure campers were complying with fire orders, such as keeping structures separated and removing flammable tarps.
Around noon Friday, police say Brett obstructed the inspectors when she wouldn't allow them on the property and physically blocked them from conducting their inspection.
"At one point the woman produced an air-horn, pointed it at the ear of a fireman and blasted a loud audible signal in his direction," police said in a news release.
Police said once she was arrested, staff from Saanich Parks and firefighters continued their operation.
Police are also gathering evidence to determine whether or not Brett could be charged with assault
Saanich police spokesman Sgt. Jereme Leslie said despite Brett opposing firefighters at the camp, the 80 or so other people living there were happy to cooperate with the inspection.
But a group representing Brett and other campers instead characterized the incident as an intimidation tactic deployed by the city.
In a statement, representatives for "Camp Namegans" said Brett was "arrested for preventing a fire marshal from throwing away from someone's home without their consent."
The group said the city was attempting to bypass the process of obtaining a court injunction by using fire marshals "to do their dirty work."
It said campers have previously complied with fire inspectors in good faith but alleged that firefighters have ignored their efforts and have stolen and disposed of campers' possessions without their consent.
Residents have also been asking for safety supplies like fire retardant tents and tarps, gravel for pathways and propane storage but those requests have been ignored, the group said.
Brett, who was involved with another encampment that popped up at the Victoria Courthouse in 2015, will appear in court at a later date.
Video of the immediate aftermath of the incident below: