February 04, 2015 - 2:40 PM
KELOWNA - The man who placed a suspicious package that caused RCMP to shut down parts of Leon Ave. Wednesday morning was just trying to join the army, according to a captain of the B.C. Dragoons.
Police had part of Leon Ave. blocked off after a laptop in a plastic bag was found under the gate leading into the parking lot of the B.C. Dragoons.
Capt. Jeff Daley of the Dragoons says the man is known to them and has previously applied to join.
"We had a gentleman who stopped by the outer cordon and talked to RCMP and claimed that he slid it under the gate," he says. "He's going in for psychiatric assessment because he shouldn't be sliding his gear under the fence."
Daley says the man has tried to camp out at the armory several times, most recently this week when he was told to leave.
"I've actually talked to the guy and gave him some advice and told him what he has to do if he wants to be recruited," Daley says. "He doesn't seem to really get it."
The Explosive Ordnance Device squad out of Esquimalt will be in Kelowna at 5 p.m. to remove the device. The barracks will remain empty until that time.
"Under such circumstances, public safety is paramount and the police must respond with the highest risk assessment until the package is mitigated or proven to be benign," says Const. Kris Clark of the RCMP.
The soldier who discovered a suspicious package outside the B.C. Dragoon barracks early this morning said his experience in Afghanistan and the heightened security awareness around Canadian military installations was why he never thought twice when he noticed a strange package near the front gate of the B.C. Dragoons headquarters.
“I’ve seen what an IED (improvised explosive device) can do to both people and vehicles,” said regimental quartermaster Sgt. Glen Duffield. “I called the RCMP right away.”
Duffield said the plastic wrapped package seemed to have wires taped to it and was in a spot where it was unlikely to be garbage thrown over a fence.
Police have cordoned off part of Lawrence Ave. near Richter St.
(JOHN MCDONALD /InfoTel Multimedia)
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— Updated at 2:30 p.m. to include details from Capt. Daley
— Updated at 10:26 a.m. Feb. 4 with comments from the soldier who discovered package
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