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VIDEO: Kelowna RCMP criticized over handling of violent incident

A Kelowna woman is complaining over the police response to a violent incident, earlier this month.

When Kezia Bird drove into the intersection at Cawston and St. Paul in downtown Kelowna April 21, the first thing she noticed was the shouting.

"He was kind of yelling and screaming, but he was on the other side of the road," she said, describing the man in question.

"He came running across the road with his fists in the air and just punched my front fender of the car."

The damage to her vehicle is extraordinary, suggesting that it had to be an extremely forceful punch.

"I kind of cringed when he was running, because I didn't know if he was coming to my window or what. For me?"

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

And what he was yelling provided no comfort either

"He was screaming out, 'I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you!' as he was running across the road," Bird explained.

"So I pulled around the corner and I called 911 and gave my report."

She expected the dispatcher to get the police to come because while she was on the line, the perpetrator then went after a pedestrian.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"He was attacking this other guy," said Bird. "He was punching him."

It was all very upsetting for her.

"I was shaking," said Bird.

She explained the dispatcher told her to leave the area.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"She said there's higher priorities right now," Bird explained.

She was told the police would call her back.

But that call never came.

But when KelownaNow contacted the RCMP it was learned that Kezia Bird wasn't the only one who called 911.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

There were numerous calls and a suspect was caught nearby.

"Officers attended, located and arrested the suspect," RCMP spokesperson CPL. Michael Gauthier wrote in an email.

The message also explained that the individual "is known to have complex needs".

The police say officers were unable to identify any victims of assault and, at the time, were unaware the caller whose vehicle was allegedly damaged was directed to leave the area.

Bird can now expect a call from the police as their investigation continues.

Her car has been into the body shop for an estimate, insurance is expected to pay for the repairs, but Bird will have to pay for the deductible.

An e-mail about the events of April 21 was sent out to all members of city council on Bird's behalf.

The only member of council to reply was Ron Cannan.



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