Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man charged after photo-radar operator trapped, threatened

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The operator of a mobile photo radar unit was threatened in the North End last month.

Winnipeg police said the unit was parked Jan. 19 in a school zone near McGregor Street and Anderson Avenue when the operator was repeatedly threatened by a man driving a large pickup truck.

Police said the suspect first confronted the operator by backing up his truck, a modified Ford F250, until it touched the operator’s vehicle and made contact with the photo radar equipment mounted on the outside.

The suspect stepped out of his truck, confronted the operator, yelling obscenities at him, and taking photos of him using a cellphone.

The suspect got back into his truck and left. The operator, feeling concerned for his safety, prepared to leave but before he could, the suspect returned, this time driving into opposing traffic, and pulled up close beside the operator’s vehicle and trapped him inside.

Police said there was no physical contact made but the suspect continued to make threats to the operator and yell obscenities at him before driving off again.

WPS spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said a 49-year-old suspect, who lives near the scene of the confrontation, was arrested Thursday morning. The suspect is facing charges of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, driving imprudently and having an obscured licence plate.

Michalyshen said photo radar operators have been subjected to abuse in the past but added that such behaviour is not acceptable.

"Regardless whether members of the public support photo radar, this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Michalyshen said.

The suspect, who is known to police, was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.

History

Updated on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM CST: corrects typo in headline

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