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Male destroys Regional District of Central Kootenay alternative approval process petitions
The controversy about a proposal to fund the Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society (PAWS) with tax dollars took a surprise turn on Monday. A man, known to at least one business owner, entered at least three businesses and tore up Regional District of Central Kootenay alternative approval process papers containing signatures of people who object to the taxation plan.
“I was sitting at a table with two customers and we were completely oblivious to the whole thing,” Renee’s Roadhouse Diner proprietor Renee Zsoltaros said on Tuesday. “He just walked in, shuffled the papers around and then ripped them up.”
The papers were placed beside a laminated copy of information provided by PAWS, and he walked off with it, she said.
“The whole thing is on our video camera,” she said. “I followed him out into the parking lot and took a picture of him in his car with my iPhone.”
One of the customers Zsoltaros was sitting with, John Huscroft, stood in the parking lot in an attempt to stop the man from driving off, but he had to move quickly to avoid being run over.
“There was no slowing down,” she said. “If Johnny had been slower he would have been hit.”
Zsoltaros said it was disturbing that a man, whom she could not identify, would take such action.
“It disrespects the process and it disrespects our community,” she said. “I don’t know how he thought it could turn out well.”
The Highway 21 business owner reported the incident to police and provided them with a licence plate number, which RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan said did not match the description of the dark blue convertible with hideaway headlights the man drove off in.
“We are continuing our investigation and we have asked for direction from Crown counsel about what sort of charges might be appropriate when we locate the man,” Gollan said. “It seems to me this is more serious than just mischief.”
Canyon Country Store owner Cora Schultz reported that she had a similar experience with the petitions on her counter.
She said the man is known to her, and a regular customer.
“I was helping a customer in the post office part of the store when he walked in,” she said earlier today. “He made some purchases from my 16-year-old daughter. Then he said, ‘Hey Cora,’ and ripped up the papers. …
“I don’t know what he was protesting against — he didn’t say. When he left my daughter and I just looked at each other in amazement. Then my daughter said, ‘Well, that was extremely rude.’ ”
The Advance also learned today that the man also entered the Northstar Creston GM dealership on Monday and tore papers up before leaving.