HP RCMP respond to multiple incidents involving replica firearms

Chris Clegg

South Peace News

High Prairie RCMP have released the name of a woman who brandished a fake firearm in town May 19.

Latoya Catherine Giroux, 19, faces a single charge of disturbing the peace and will appear in High Prairie provincial court on Sept. 28 to enter a plea.

High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright says High Prairie RCMP received a call at about 2:35 p.m. that a female had allegedly displayed a handgun to a contracted employee of a school in the area of 46 Street and 53 Avenue in High Prairie, before leaving the area.

“High Prairie RCMP conducted a search of nearby businesses where they located the female. She was arrested and taken into police custody. It was later determined the firearm was a replica of a Smith & Wesson handgun,” says Cpl. Deanna Fontaine, media relations officer, Western Alberta District RCMP.

A replica of the air pistol allegedly used by Latoya Catherine Giroux, May 19.

Multiple incidents

The Giroux matter is one of several related fake firearm incidents in the last month.

“We are thankful none of these incidents resulted in injury to members of the public or police,” says Wright.

“Replica firearms should not be brought into public as they are not toys and these incidents heighten public safety concerns for all when police respond.”

The concerning trend has led to a need to bring this to the attention of the public in an effort to provide education in hopes of avoiding possible serious outcomes in the future.

“This concerning trend has led to a need to bring this to the attention of the public in an effort to provide education,” says Fontaine.

Dumont charged

On April 16, at 7:49 p.m., police responded to a number of 911 calls of a male walking in High Prairie with what was believed to be a sawed-off shotgun in the area of 53 Avenue and 52 Street while pointing at people, vehicles and businesses.

“Police responded and located the male in possession of what was believed to be a shotgun,” says Fontaine.

“He was arrested without incident and taken into police custody.”

It was later determined that the weapon was a replica Remington shotgun air pistol.

Joshua Maurice Dumont, 28, is charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of criminal harassment, and a single count of disturbing the peace.

Following a judicial hearing, Dumont was remanded into custody. His next scheduled court appearance is June 15 in High Prairie provincial court when he will enter pleas on all charges.

A replica of a Remington air shotgun used by Joshua Maurice Dumont, April 16.

Willier also charged

On May 9, 2020, at 12:42 a.m., High Prairie RCMP received a 911 call of a male carrying what was believed to be a handgun and acting unusual in the area of 52 Avenue and 48 Street.

Police located the male and arrested him without incident. A search of the suspect and the area did not yield any handgun or replica handgun.

Further investigation resulted in Vincent Edward Willier, of Gift Lake Metis Settlement, being charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Following a judicial hearing, Willier was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in High Prairie Provincial Court on June 1, 2020.

No laughing matter

Police say all such matters are taken very seriously and these replicas are treated as a firearm until proven otherwise.

“This concerning trend has led to a need to bring this to the attention of the public in an effort to provide education,” says Fontaine.

High Prairie RCMP encourage the public to report suspicious persons or incidents by calling [780] 523-3370 or your local police.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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