'Horrifying': Keremeos village office still closed after attack by man armed with sledgehammer, knife | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Horrifying': Keremeos village office still closed after attack by man armed with sledgehammer, knife

Cameron Urquhart, born 1979, has been arrested and charged in connection with an incident at the Village of Keremeos office, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.
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Staff at the Village of Keremeos office had no warning leading up to a terrifying incident involving a man armed with a sledgehammer and a knife this week.

“It’s horrifying,” acting mayor and village councillor Jason Wiebe said. He wasn't at the office during the incident on Monday, Jan. 24.

Over the course of his entire life, Wiebe said he never experienced such a breach of public safety.

"And in such an unexpected way – we’re usually aware when someone’s agitated or not OK – but this was sudden without warning,” he said.

Staffers at the office were threatened and assaulted by a man brandishing a sledge hammer and a knife. Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck said injuries sustained were “relatively minor” and required no immediate care, though some victims were encouraged to go to the hospital. The sledgehammer and knife were not used in any of the assaults.

Keremeos council intends to issue a full response to the incident, Wiebe said, but not until the mayor has returned and more information has been gathered.

“This week we’ll focus on what we can do and what needs to happen. Once the mayor is back we can sit down as council," he said.

READ MORE: RCMP nab Princeton car theft suspect north of Keremeos

Wiebe wouldn’t share many details about the incident, but said it was “serious enough that we’re focusing our responsibility as a council to make sure village staff are taken care of.”

The village office has been closed since Monday however municipal services are still available, Wiebe said, adding that there is no timeframe for when the office will reopen except that it won’t be this week.

The person who was arrested after allegedly brandishing a sledgehammer and knife in the village office was Cameron Edward Jake Urquhart, born 1979. He is facing 14 charges including three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault causing bodily harm, and a single charge each of assault and assaulting peace officer. He was also charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, mischief, two counts of robbery, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, possessing weapon for dangerous purpose and forcible entry.

READ MORE: Keremeos addiction treatment centre will reopen, but no word on when

Urquhart has been charged with numerous other crimes in B.C. going back over a decade, according to court documents, from trafficking and assaulting a peace officer to impaired driving. 

He was kept in custody after his first court appearance yesterday, Jan. 25, and has a bail hearing scheduled for Jan. 28.

— This story was updated at 8:38 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 to clarify councillor Jason Wiebe's quote about public safety.

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