WINNIPEG — At least one local hockey fan thinks it’s criminal the Winnipeg Jets haven’t returned home.
A 33-year-old resident of Lundar, Manitoba is facing numerous charges after allegedly making a series of 911 calls which included demanding RCMP officers somehow bring the National Hockey League back to the province.
"He began the conversation by saying he wanted the Jets back. He was quite upset about it," a justice source told the Free Press on Wednesday. The incident occurred last year but was never reported publicly by police. The Free Press uncovered details this week through court documents.
The potential return of the NHL has been a hot topic in recent years, with many believing it’s a matter of when, not if, Winnipeg gets a team back. And while the subject usually triggers passionate debate, this is believed to be the first time it has ever prompted police action.
The emergency dispatcher politely told the angry caller there was nothing she could do to help him and reminded him that he was tying up a valuable resource before hanging up. But the man continued to phone back, claiming he had a lot on his mind.
"He had apparently been drinking and told police he hadn’t slept in days. He started talking about world conglomerates, things like that. He was hallucinating, obviously," said the source.
The final straw came when the man began insulting the 911 operator, eventually calling her a crude name. She warned him that his number had been traced and police were being sent out to arrest him.
"If you’re coming to get me, can you bring me some smokes," was his reply.
Police arrested the man without incident and have charged him with public mischief, false messages, harassing phone calls and obstructing justice. Lawyers are expected to request a psychiatric evaluation when the case returns to Lundar court on Thursday. It’s possible the charges could be dropped if doctors believe the man has mental health issues which impacted his actions.
The accused has been receiving medical treatment since his arrest and has been free on bail without incident. He has no prior criminal record.