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RCMP make arrest after studying video(s) from first of two recent demonstrations in Red Deer

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From Red Deer RCMP

Red Deer RCMP asking for witnesses regarding alleged assault at demonstration – Update

Further investigation of the Sept. 22, 2020, video that surfaced online has been completed by the Red Deer RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS).

This investigation has brought to light that on Sept. 20, 2020, the incident that is shown on the video occurred during the protest and RCMP members at the scene responded within seconds. The parties were then separated and assistance was offered to the victim. Both parties were identified; however, due to the growing concern that tensions were escalating within the crowd, the parties were permitted to disperse.

As per the background below, a video of a second incident was brought to the Alberta RCMP’s attention via social media on Sept. 21, 2020, and as a result, Red Deer RCMP opened an investigation that was completed by Red Deer RCMP GIS. The Red Deer RCMP GIS’s investigation into this incident involved the review of a large quantity of video evidence and conducting a large number of witness interviews.

As a result of this complex investigation, Red Deer GIS have reviewed dozens of videos from various angles and points of view to determine what criminal offences have taken place. Based on the information that has been reviewed at this time, RCMP have identified three separate criminal incidents that took place at the demonstration on Sept. 20, 2020. The first incident is that which is mentioned in the background below that occurred prior to police arrival at the demonstration. A second involved the incident that was captured on the video mentioned above during the demonstration that was brought to the attention of Alberta RCMP via social media on Sept. 21, 2020. A third incident was uncovered by the RCMP investigation, was supported by video evidence and remains under investigation. Red Deer RCMP GIS continue to review video evidence in an effort to uncover any other criminal incidents that may have taken place at the Sept. 20, 2020, event.

Trevor Lyle Roy (42) of Penhold, Alta. has been charged with assault in relation to the first incident that occurred on Sept. 20, 2020, and he is scheduled to attend Red Deer Provincial Court on Nov. 17, 2020.

The Red Deer RCMP GIS have requested a summons charging an individual with assault with a weapon in relation to the second incident that occurred on Sept. 20, 2020. Until the summons has been issued by the courts and subsequently served, the name of the accused cannot be released. Once that information becomes available, an update will be issued.

The Red Deer RCMP would like to thank all those who were cooperative with their investigation by providing statements and video evidence.

Background:

Sept. 22, 2020

Red Deer RCMP asking for witnesses regarding alleged assault at demonstration

Red Deer, Alta. – On Sept. 20, 2020, Red Deer RCMP attended a scheduled anti-racism demonstration at Rotary Recreation Park. As demonstrators were setting up for the event and prior to RCMP arriving for their planned attendance, a disturbance occurred between two separate demonstration groups, resulting in one male allegedly assaulting another. This incident was caught on video prior to Red Deer RCMP members arriving on scene and was shown to officers by those on scene.

Red Deer RCMP were aware of the planned demonstration and had prepared to have adequate resources and specially equipped officers at the event to handle any potential risks to public safety. After arriving on scene, members became aware of the alleged assault, were able to de-escalate the situation between the two groups and spoke with the victim.

A second incident was brought to the Alberta RCMP’s attention via social media on Sept. 21, 2020, and as a result, Red Deer RCMP opened an investigation that is being handled by Red Deer RCMP GIS. We are asking any witnesses to this incident to come forward with any information and contact Red Deer RCMP GIS at 403-406-2300.

“The Red Deer RCMP take this matter very seriously,” says Superintendent Gerald Grobmeier, Officer in Charge of Red Deer RCMP. “The role of the RCMP at demonstrations is to keep the peace and allow individuals their democratic right to gather. The matter remains under investigation.”

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Alberta

Loaded handgun seized in Red Deer traffic stop

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News release submitted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

A variety of drugs and a loaded handgun were seized from a suspected Red Deer drug dealer by ALERT. The handgun, which had its serial number defaced, was located following a traffic stop.

ALERT Red Deer’s organized crime and gang team made the seizure on May 4, 2022 after conducting a planned vehicle stop near Gasoline Alley in Red Deer County. A 41-year-old suspect was arrested, but has yet to be formally charged.

“Taking a handgun out of the hands of a drug dealer is a measure of success towards reinforcing community safety. ALERT continues to work with our partners at Red Deer RCMP, and neighbouring detachments, to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking activity,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Gibson, ALERT Regional teams.

Along with the handgun ALERT located a variety of drugs inside the vehicle, including:

  • 40 grams of fentanyl;
  • 28 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 6 grams of cocaine;
  • 30 milliliters of GHB;
  • 16 assorted illicit prescription pills; and
  • $360 cash.

The handgun will be submitted for ballistic testing and firearms analysis.

The investigation remains ongoing as investigators are preparing reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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Crime

Buffalo suspect: Lonely, isolated — and a sign of trouble

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By Bernard Condon And Michael Hill in Conklin

CONKLIN, N.Y. (AP) — In the waning days of Payton Gendron’s COVID-19-altered senior year at Susquehanna Valley High School, he logged on to a virtual learning program in economics class that asked: “What do you plan to do when you retire?”

“Murder-suicide,” Gendron typed.

Despite his protests that it was all a joke, the bespectacled 17-year-old who had long been viewed by classmates as a smart loner was questioned by state police over the possible threat and then taken into custody and to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation under a state mental health law.

But a day and a half later, he was released. And two weeks after that, he was allowed to participate in graduation festivities, including riding in the senior parade, where he was photographed atop a convertible driven by his father and festooned with yellow-and-blue balloons and signs reading, “Congratulations” and “Payton Gendron.”

That account of Gendron’s brush with the law last spring, according to authorities and other people familiar with what happened, emphasized the same point school officials made in a message to parents at the time: An investigation found no specific, credible threat against the school or any individual from that sign of trouble.

That same young white man bought a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, traveled three hours to Buffalo and went on what authorities say was a racist, livestreamed shooting rampage Saturday in a crowded supermarket that left 10 Black people dead.

Gendron, now 18, was arraigned on a state murder charge over the weekend and a court-appointed public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He remained jailed under suicide watch as federal prosecutors contemplate hate-crime charges.

Even as the FBI swarmed the comfortable home where Gendron lived with his parents and two younger brothers, neighbors and classmates in this community of 5,000 near the New York-Pennsylvania line say they saw no inkling of the young man now being described on television.

And they say they saw nothing of the kind of racist rhetoric seen in a 180-page online diatribe, purportedly written by Gendron, in which he describes in minute detail how he researched ZIP codes with the highest concentrations of Black people, surveilled the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, and carried out the assault to terrorize all nonwhite, non-Christian people into leaving the country.

Classmates described Gendron as a quiet, studious boy who got high marks but seemed out of place in recent years, turning to online streaming games, a fascination with guns and ways to grab attention from his peers.

When school partially opened again early last year after COVID-19-related shutdowns, Gendron showed up covered head to toe in a hazmat suit. Classmate Matthew Casado said he didn’t think the stunt -– he called it “a harmless joke” — went down well with other students.

“Most people didn’t associate with him,” he said. “They didn’t want to be known as friends with a kid who was socially awkward and nerdy.”

Gendron excelled in sciences, once earning top marks in a state chemistry competition. But he was known for keeping to himself and not talking much. And when he did talk, it was about isolation, rejection and desperation.

“He talked about how he didn’t like school because he didn’t have friends. He would say he was lonely,” said Casado, who graduated with Gendron last year.

At one point last winter, Gendron’s mother called Casado’s mother with a request: Please have Matthew call Payton because he had no friends and needed to talk.

The two boys ended up going to flea markets together, watching YouTube videos and shooting guns on nearby state land over the next few months. Casado said that he had never heard his friend talk of anything violent.

“I didn’t think he would hurt a fly,” he said.

Some neighbors had a similar view, seeing the family as happy and prosperous, with both Paul Gendron and his wife, Pamela, holding stable jobs as civil engineers with the New York state Department of Transportation, earning nearly $200,000 combined, according to online records.

Dozens of their Facebook posts over the years show the parents and their three boys — often dressed in matching outfits — enjoying amusement park vacations, going on boat trips, shooting laser tag guns and opening presents on Christmas morning.

Carl Lobdell, a family friend who first met Gendron on a camping vacation a dozen years ago, said he was shocked that Payton was identified as the suspect in the mass shooting.

“He was very friendly, very respectable,” said Lobdell, adding that his family had grown so close to the Gendrons that they even attended Payton’s graduation party last year. “When I heard about the shooting … I just cried.”

The family did not respond to a request for comment over the weekend, nor did Gendron’s attorney. No one answered the door Monday at the family home, surrounded by a neat, spacious lawn. Near the front door was a tiny right hand pressed in concrete with a heart symbol and the words, “PAYTON 2008.”

One parent of a Susquehanna Valley High student said she was furious that the student who was investigated for making the threat last year — whom she later discovered was Gendron — was still allowed to participate in all graduation activities. The woman asked not to be identified because she feared harassment.

According to a recording of a conference call of federal and local law enforcement officials Monday that was obtained by The Associated Press, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Gendron’s comments he made in school in June 2021 were “generalized statements” and not targeted at anyone in particular or at a specific location, which is why no criminal charges were filed. He said the state police “did everything within the confines of the law.”

Gendron enrolled at Broome County Community College and later dropped out. The school wouldn’t say why. And according to online writings attributed to him, he began planning his assault on the Buffalo supermarket beginning at least in November, saying he was inculcated into his racist views online.

“I was never diagnosed with a mental disability or disorder, and I believe to be perfectly sane,” according to one passage.

A new, 589-page document of online diary postings emerged Monday that authorities have attributed to Gendron, and some of its passages tracked with the account AP’s sources gave of his high school threat investigation.

“Another bad experience was when I had to go to a hospitals ER because I said the word’s ‘murder/suicide’ to an online paper in economics class,” said one entry. “I got out of it because I stuck with the story that I was getting out of class and I just stupidly wrote that down. That is the reason I believe I am still able to purchase guns.”

“It was not a joke, I wrote that down because that’s what I was planning to do.”

___

Condon reported from New York. Eric Tucker in Washington, Michael R. Sisak in New York and news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed.

___

Contact AP’s global investigative team at [email protected]

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