Man fined for violating COVID-19 measures after refusing to leave party

Man fined for violating COVID-19 measures after refusing to leave party
A man was arrested and fined by Victoria police officers for violating the province's COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

A partygoer was arrested and fined more than $200 by Victoria police after refusing to leave a party.

According to a media release issued by the Victoria Police Department, officers attended a multi-unit residential building in the 1000-block of Fort Street for a noise disturbance just after midnight on Aug. 23 and discovered 15 people partying in a one-bedroom suite.

VicPD said officers informed guests that the party was over and told them to leave, but one man refused to cooperate and was arrested for obstructing a peace officer. He was also issued a $230 ticket for violating the province’s COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

“[He] was very belligerent, refused to leave, was swearing at police, was causing a disturbance,” Const. Cam MacIntyre told CHEK News. “I don’t think they’re taking it seriously and it’s very unfortunate. This is a serious public health issue. It’s putting the wider public, our community and our officers at risk.”

Del Manak, Victoria’s chief of police, called the behaviour unbelievable, unacceptable and “proof” that voluntary compliance doesn’t always work.

“This is proof that asking for voluntary compliance and appealing to people’s common sense doesn’t work with some,” Manak wrote in a post on social media.

It comes less than 48 hours after VicPD officers attended the exact same unit on Aug. 21 and issued the host and owner of a $2,300 fine for violating the act.

VicPD had said officers encountered 30 people in the unit that night and estimate at least 40 to 60 people attended the party at the one-bedroom unit.

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps said these kind of large indoor parties aren’t appropriate at this time.

“I’m grateful to VicPD for cracking down,” she said in a statement to CHEK News. “I hope this serves as a warning for others who may be considering similar gatherings in Victoria or across the province.”

Helps added “We all have a role to play in getting through this and getting out of this together.”

RELATED: Victoria party host fined $2,300 for violating province’s ban on large gatherings amid COVID-19 pandemic

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