Police pleased overall with festival conduct 

Alcohol a factor in village and highway, but no violent incidents reported

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The second weekend of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival was a busy one for Whistler RCMP, but overall the police were pleased that most of the calls were minor in nature with little in the way of violence to report.

"We're quite happy there were no violent incidents of any consequence," said Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair. "There are always a few minor assaults, a couple scuffles in nightclubs, but there were no injuries, and we're happy the event went smoothly. It's a testament to organizers, the police and all the parties involved in putting on the event."

On Friday, the RCMP arrested and lodged three people in cells for being intoxicated, issued 50 bylaw liquor tickets ($100 each), two bylaw tickets for urinating in public, one ticket for a minor in possession of alcohol, a smoking bylaw ticket related to drug use, two tickets for being intoxicated in public and one provincial violation ticket for open liquor.

Saturday's numbers include six arrests for being intoxicated in public, 37 bylaw liquor tickets, one bylaw ticket for urinating in public, one bylaw ticket for noise, one ticket for a minor in possession of alcohol and two provincial tickets for open liquor.

The Whistler detachment's numbers were boosted throughout the festival, and this past weekend the Lower Mainland Traffic Service conducted sobriety checks on Highway 99. They handed out six Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (which include a 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day vehicle impound, among other penalties), three three-day roadside prohibitions to drivers that tested in the warn range between 0.06 and 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content, two 24-hour prohibitions for alcohol (given to drivers who test between 0.05 and 0.059 on the roadside test) and three 24-hour prohibitions for drugs.

The number of young people drinking to excess concerned the RCMP. On Saturday afternoon, a police patrol was alerted to a young girl who had passed out in the village, and when they attended they found a 15-year-old girl passed out. She was taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre as a precaution.

Later in the evening, the RCMP had arrested an adult male for being intoxicated in public when they were told that a young male was passed out in some bushes nearby. The RCMP attended and found a 16-year-old exchange student from Mexico.

"It shows the dangers of intoxication with young people, we've had tragic incidents in the past where people have died after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol," said Sgt. LeClair.

There were also sex assaults reported in the past week, both of which were similar.

On April 16, the RCMP received a call from a local hotel just after 10 p.m. after an abandoned 911 call. When they arrived they spoke to a woman who said that a suspect had made advances on her all night and had tried to kiss her. She fought the male off, punched him on the side of his head and pushed him out of the room.

According to police, the two knew each other and had travelled to Whistler as friends. The male suspect, a 23-year-old from Richmond, was arrested and will make a court appearance on May 1.

The second incident was reported just after noon on April 21, and related to an incident the previous evening. A female was sharing a bed with two males as friends after a night of partying, and awoke to find one of the male's hands down her pants. The police arrested the male, a 24-year-old from Maple Ridge.

Another male was arrested after police attending The End rave after closing were informed by security that a male had attempted to gouge their eyeballs and grab their testicles. They turned the man over to police, at which point he grabbed an officer in the groin.

The RCMP say the suspect, a 25-year-old Surrey male living in Whistler, was severely impaired by drugs and alcohol, and charged him for being intoxicated in public, obscene language and obstruction. There were no injuries and no assault charges were laid.

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