Smart meter showdown in HopePosted by Tom Fletcher
Home-made device makes electrical dispute explosive!
Hope, BC: On February 28, 2013, around 1:00 PM, the Hope RCMP and the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment RCMP First Nations Police were called to assist BC Hydro in keeping the peace at a home in the 21900 block of Ross Road.
BC Hydro employees advised that the occupants of the residence were using an illegal meter that had been installed without authorization. After repeated threats of violence towards BC Hydro employees, the utility requested a police escort to the residence to inspect their equipment and install an authorized BC Hydro meter.
Upon arrival, the couple refused to allow BC Hydro access to inspect their equipment. BC Hydro had safety concerns about the couple’s current meter setup as they allegedly removed their original meter and replaced it with an unauthorized meter from an abandoned house nearby. The couple was advised that if they didn’t allow the inspection, BC Hydro would be forced to cut power to the residence.
During conversation with the couple, the man allegedly made indirect threats to officers and BC Hydro employees that if a new meter was installed people could lose their lives and police may have to kill him. The woman became agitated during the incident and was arrested after allegedly threatening to hit and punch the Hope officer. While the officer was escorting the woman to his police car, the woman allegedly assaulted the Hope officer by kicking him.
During the arrest of the female, the man went into his residence and came out with two mason jars containing a blue clear liquid. He was holding an ignitor that was rigged to the jars in one of his hands. The members believed this to be a home-made bomb. Police negotiated with the man who eventually unarmed himself and was subsequently arrested.
“This is an example that shows there is never a routine call for a police officer,” says Staff Sergeant Suki Manj. “Two seasoned officers were faced with a life and death situation and were almost forced to use lethal force to protect themselves and the public.”
“You never know what a person is willing to do over something that may seem trivial to others,” says Staff Sergeant Suki Manj. “In this case, we are glad we were able to resolve this situation without anyone been seriously injured.”
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) attended and determined the content of the mason jars was likely jet fuel which was triggered with a BBQ ignitor. The suspected bomb was destroyed at the scene by EDU.
Dean Grykuliak, 46 years old from Hope, has been charged with possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and two counts of conveying a threat against the two officers. Ella Gutierrez, 48 years old from Hope, has been charged with assaulting a peace officer.