Three recent acts of violence to occur in Meadow Lake and area are believed to be gang related.
This is according to the Meadow Lake RCMP who, on Friday (Feb. 11) at approximately 8:15 p.m., received a report of an unknown adult male banging on the door of a residence on 6th Avenue East, yelling someone was going to shoot him. It was further reported a vehicle had pulled up to the residence, a male exited and forced the unknown male into the vehicle with him. The vehicle then left the scene travelling in an unknown direction.
Shortly after this incident, at approximately 8:25 p.m., police received a report of an injured adult female at a residence on 2nd Street East. It was reported the female had three of her fingers cut off one hand. Five minutes later, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Meadow Lake RCMP received a report of a second injured adult female at a residence on Flying Dust First Nation. It was reported the second female had two of her fingers cut off one hand.
Meanwhile, police identified a suspect vehicle in connection with the incident where the adult male was allegedly abducted. Officers located the vehicle on Flying Dust First Nation and subsequently arrested two individuals.
“This was a rapidly developing incident,” remarked S/Sgt. Ryan How, Meadow Lake RCMP detachment commander. “We had multiple crime scenes, two seriously injured victims and five suspects. The assistance of the Flying Dust security team was critical to identifying the suspect vehicle… Additionally, the Protection and Response Team provided valuable assistance in securing the crime scenes.”
As a result of the investigation, Jerrico Lasas, 30, of Waterhen Lake First Nation, Ronald Campbell, 27, of Buffalo Narrows, Kayla Lasas, 26, of Waterhen, Brian Maurice, 28, of Flying Dust and Chantal Roy, 24, of Meadow Lake have all been jointly charged with: kidnapping while using a prohibited firearm; aggravated assault; uttering threats; using a firearm in commission of an offence and possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized.
Jerrico Lasas, Campbell and Kayla Lasas made their first court appearance in Meadow Lake Feb. 14, while arrest warrants have been issued for Maurice and Roy. Brian Maurice is described as 5’8” tall and 141 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. A picture of Maurice is not available, but he may be at Flying Dust First Nation. Chantal Roy is described as 5’4” tall and 130 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She also has a butterfly tattoo on her right wrist and a mother holding child tattoo on her left arm. Police say she may be in Meadow Lake.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 306-236-2570 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
City discusses gang strategy
Following Friday’s incidents, the issue of potentially creating a gang strategy was discussed by Meadow Lake city council during its meeting Monday (Feb. 14). The issue was raised by councillor Clay DeBray.
“Over the weekend, I probably received eight or nine texts or phone calls about this,” DeBray said. “People were asking if we as a city have a community gang strategy or if that is something we can look at.”
DeBray went on to say Maryah Walker, the community program officer stationed at the Meadow Lake RCMP detachment, has been very active in spreading the word about gang prevention, but he would like the city to work more closely with other local agencies and assist wherever possible to further combat criminal activity.
“The RCMP in Meadow Lake has a new crime reduction team coming here soon,” noted mayor Merlin Seymour. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing something, but when it comes to gang activity I don’t want to stick my fingers in there.”
DeBray agreed, but said the city’s role would be one of a supportive manner.
“We’re not going to be out on the streets,” he said. “But, if there is an agency out there in need of assistance, they can come to us. It would be policy based… To me, the calls I received, were calls for help, and to support and to assist the matter at hand. When asked if we have a community gang strategy, the bigger your team, the more you can tackle. And, at the end of the day, the biggest thing is awareness.”
by Phil Ambroziak