While the good news over the holiday season may have been the fact the Rimbey RCMP weren’t forced to charge anyone with impaired driving, the bad news is they were too busy with other matters including domestic disputes several shootings and a near-fatal stabbing at a local beverage room.
“We had some check stops set up as far as the drinking and driving public goes, and as far as I know, we didn’t pick up any impaired drivers over Christmas and new year’s,” said Const. Bill Coulthard of the “good” before addressing the “bad”.
“We were too busy chasing down family disputes Christmas Day, motor vehicle collisions, shooting complaints, a stabbing in a local bar and a residential break and enter the other day where a television and other items were stolen from the house, so it’s been busy but not with impaired drivers.
“I guess what you have to look at is if we’re busy investigating all the other incidents, we don’t have the time to set up check stops. If you’re pulled away on other matters, it’s pretty hard to look for impaired drivers.”
On New Year’s Eve, Coulthard said officers were called to a local drinking establishment to investigate a complaint of a belligerent man who had been asked to leave the premises immediately that quickly escalated into an emergency life-and-death situation.
“It started with some guys arguing in the bar. Some co-workers of one fellow that was in the bar tried to get him out and it wound up that one of the guys trying to get him out of the bar ended up being slashed in the neck with a broken beer bottle,” Coulthard said of the attack that was dangerously close to the victim’s jugular vein. “I don’t know how many stitches he was given. There was so many I think even the doctor lost count. But it was right along the side of his neck and was pretty close to life-threatening, I would say.”
The victim was transported to the Rimbey Hospital where he spent a few days and is now recovering at home.
The accused is 30-year-old, Glenn Abbott, a resident of Glenevis, Alta. Abbott remains in jail awaiting his next court appearance. A second male, 26-year-old, Samuel Kootneay, also of Glenevis, Alta., was arrested and charged for breaching his court orders to not consume alcohol and abide by a curfew. Kootenay also remains in custody.
“On New Year’s Day we had a residence shot at west of Rimbey,” Coulthard continued. “The bullet penetrated an exterior wall and went into the house. Also a vehicle in the same area was shot and has a few bullet holes in it and several deer were also illegally shot, also in the same area.”
Coulthard said the RCMP would not speculate if the shootings were connected, adding the case remains under investigation. No names were released.
Additionally, the Rimbey RCMP attended several scenes involving vehicle collisions with moose and deer in the area over the holiday season, which they attributed to many more travellers on roads and highways.
As for the “ugly”, Coulthard said numerous complaints of domestic disputes and/or violence were also received, the vast majority of which occurred on Christmas Day.
“I’m not sure how many were investigated, but unfortunately, there’s always kids involved. The kids are sitting right there in front of the Christmas tree and mom and dad are fighting,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a case of the times getting tougher and people spending too much money over the holidays. They get a little too much alcohol in themselves and start dwelling on how they’re going to pay for all the stuff, I don’t know for sure. But it’s pretty sad when parents start fighting in front of their kids at Christmastime.”