PENTICTON - A man alleged to have taken part in the kidnapping and beating of a Penticton man in May pleaded guilty today, Oct. 19, to several charges stemming from a prior incident at Nickel Plate Nordic Ski Centre on April 30, 2015.
Sentencing for Albert Edgar Fontaine, who appeared by video today, was delayed. Fontaine has also been implicated among a group of men accused of beating a man who was found on Green Mountain Road in May of this year.
Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told Judge Gregory Koturbash Penticton RCMP received a call at approximately 6:07 p.m., April 30, of a complaint of a break in at the cross country ski centre located above Apex Ski Resort on Nickel Plate Road.
Police could not immediately respond as they were short handed, however an Apex village resident, accompanied by a retired RCMP officer attended the scene to check to see if a crime had been committed.
Nothing was immediately visible at the ski centre, but the two heard the sound of tires spinning nearby. Further investigation revealed a Jeep stuck in the snow just off the road. The man in the driver’s seat, recognized later as Fontaine, was seen wearing brass knuckles. Beside him was a can of bear spray.
The two civilians engaged Fontaine until a police cruiser arrived. In the meantime, Fontaine threw a small bag out of the vehicle that was later recovered and found to contain a small amount of methamphetamine.
Police arrived at the scene at approximately 8:28 a.m., when they were able to confirm a break and enter and some damage had occurred at the ski centre.
Several items identified as belonging to the ski centre were found in Fontaine’s possession. He was subsequently arrested for break and enter and possession of stolen property. A search of his vehicle revealed brass knuckles, a knife and a can of bear spray.
Further investigation at the ski centre revealed a ladder belonging to the centre laying on the ground behind the building. A vent located in the attic had been found ripped off, revealing a hole large enough for a man to fit through. A number of items in the office had been moved.
Fontaine pled guilty to several charges including break and enter and possession of a controlled substance, in addition to failure to report to his bail supervisor.
Swanson cited Fontaine’s "lengthy criminal record” in asking for a long prison term. The sentencing trial was delayed delayed, however, by request from Fontaine to have pre-sentence reports conducted, including a psychiatric report, to ascertain whether or not Fontaine suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome.
The report is expected to take six weeks. Fontaine’s next court appearance for the matter was set at Dec. 2.
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