Long weekend brings violence to Whistler 

Two assaulted, dozens arrested; slight improvement over last year

Two men were taken to the hospital as a result of May long weekend rowdiness this year, one with a fractured skull and one with a serious cut on his neck, but overall things have improved slightly over previous years.

The RCMP anticipated problems in advance and called in 30 additional officers for the weekend to step up patrols and keep the peace. They also set up a roadblock outside the village to intercept visitors.

Staff Sergeant Hilton Haider of the Pemberton/Whistler RCMP detachment says the situation was similar to the long weekend last year.

"It was the same issues, the same problems, the same clientele," said Haider. "I think we were better prepared for it this year, we had more resources working and bigger presence."

The list of weapons and potential weapons seized by the RCMP over the weekend includes a razor blade, a switchblade, a metal bar, brass knuckles, a floor jack handle, bear spray, pepper spray, a field hockey stick, two baseball bats, a sling shot, four metal fireplace rods, a fireplace poker a large crowbar and a large socket wrench.

The RCMP also attended six fights, made 22 arrests for being drunk in public, issued four 24-hour driving prohibitions, made 10 drug seizures, investigated 11 reports of theft, and responded to 11 noise complaints and seven complaints of disturbances.

Despite the extra officers and recent efforts by a Public Safety Committee, that includes the RCMP, nightclubs, the municipality and the accommodation sector, there were some serious incidents reported which are still under investigation.

On the evening of May 23, the RCMP received a report of an assault in progress in Whistler Village near the Savage Beagle. The police attended the scene and assisted a 17-year-old male from Burnaby who had been struck in the head with "an expandable baton or pipe of some kind", resulting in a two-inch cut to his temple.

The suspect in that incident was described as a dark-skinned male, possibly Indo Canadian, who was wearing a white undershirt under a white shirt with thin blue stripes, and had curly hair to the neck line. Patrols searched for the suspect but were unable to find him.

The victim was taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture. He was stabilized and taken by ambulance to Lions Gate Hospital for observation.

The previous evening the RCMP attended a call at Garfinkel’s night club after a report that two men were cut with a broken glass during an altercation. A 28-year-old Whistler man was cut in the neck and taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre before being transferred to Lions Gate Hospital. He was released shortly afterwards. He went to the RCMP detachment in Whistler on Wednesday to make a statement.

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