An Alberta man is facing a hefty fine of nearly $800 and an impounded car after Victoria police say he was caught doing donuts on the grass in a James Bay park with his car.
Shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, officers were called to Irving Park in the 200-block of Menzies Street for a report of a black Chevrolet Camaro spinning around on the grass.
When officers arrived, they found the vehicle and driver still in the park, next to the marks the car had made in the field.
“It’s a concerning incident for us,” said Const. Cam MacIntyre with VicPD. “This is a man in a sports car driving donuts in a local park when there’s children in a playground nearby, there’s campers nearby. Someone could have easily been hurt.”
The Camaro was about 30 metres away from a playground occupied with children, MacIntyre said.
“It’s reckless, it’s irresponsible and dangerous,” he added.
However, the driver, Dylan, told CHEK News there were no children around. Dylan had gotten into an argument with one of his friends who lives in Irving Park. He had been helping his friend move out of his tent and had some of his stuff in and on top of the car.
In his anger, Dylan said, he decided to get rid of his friend’s belongings.
“I pulled my car up here, slowly, gently, and I methodically cased it out, made sure there were no children around or anyone to bother,” Dylan said. “When I got just past that sign, I did give it a little bit of gas and did a sharp turn.”
Dylan said “there were no donuts,” it was just a sharp turn.
“I like this park, I respect this park,” he said. “I didn’t tear the place up and I know that it does not give me a pass and it’s inexcusable the way I behaved but I am learning my lesson.”
During the investigation, officers discovered the driver had driven the unregistered and uninsured vehicle from Alberta to Victoria.
“The individual had travelled from Alberta, with the intent expressed to us very clearly, that he intended to camp in a local park,” said MacIntyre.
If this was the case, Victoria councillor Stephen Andrew said the individual — or anyone travelling to Victoria from outside of the community — would not meet the criteria for housing.
“Right now the criteria is if you are elderly, if you are indigenous or if you are long-term unhoused in this area, you will get housing,” Andrew explained. “Victoria is not an open city for every homeless person or someone looking for social housing to arrive at.”
The driver in this particular case, however, told CHEK News that isn’t why he’s in Victoria.
“I came here to B.C. to go sailing with my friend and things didn’t work out,” Dylan said. “I was about to get my car and drive back home.”
He says he had stayed in the province to practice altruism and help out those who needed it, including the campers — and in this case, it was helping someone he had come to know move.
“It’s simply people helping people,” Dylan said. “If everybody helped, nobody would ever be in distress.”
VicPD Traffic officers impounded the vehicle for seven days for stunting and served the driver with $794 in violation tickets for no insurance and driving without consideration.
“We hope that the fines levied against this individual, the vehicle impoundment, and the numerous points on his license will prohibit this behaviour in the future,” said MacIntyre.
MacIntyre added it isn’t surprising the driver has a different account of what happened. He noted “ultimately that is what court is for” if the man chooses to dispute the fines.
“Our investigators are top-notch and they work hard to gather all the information before they issue violation tickets, particularly for something like stunting,” he said.
This also comes at a time when the provincial government has banned non-essential travel in B.C., which includes out-of-province visitors.
“It’s unknown exactly when the individual got to the island, although it’s believed to be recently,” said MacIntyre. “The order providing us with the ability to issue tickets for travel came into effect on April 23. We have to have that evidence for any ticket such as this to stand up in court.”
VicPD says the file is still under investigation. The man is not currently facing a ticket for defying public health orders.
If you have any information about this incident, you are asked to call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654, extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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