Scotiabank threats denounced in court


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A man who made threats to a bank teller in Steinbach last year made away with a fine and an order not to go near the site of the occurrence after a judge took pity on the man’s circumstances.

Paul Maendel, 36, threatened to “go postal” on bank tellers when they refused to cash a cheque in June 2022.

The accused said the outburst was due to low blood sugar levels caused by his diabetes. Maendel told court at the time of the offence he was trying to cash a cheque to refill his medication.

“I don’t drink because I turn into a prick when I drink,” he told Judge Tim Killeen. “Well, sugar has the same effect when it goes haywire.”

Witnesses told Mounties on June 1, 2022 Maendel came into the bank attempting to cash a cheque. When tellers told him they couldn’t give him the cheque’s full amount until it was duly processed, the accused got upset and began to yell, exclaiming he was going to shoot himself.

“Later on, he indicated that he was going to go postal, and that it was going to be worse than Texas,” Crown attorney Jonathan Mays told court.

The accused’s threat was referencing a school shooting in Ulvalde, Texas in which a man killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.

Mays indicated the accused wasn’t a violent person who would act on his threats, but “still causes people at the Scotiabank anxiety having to deal with this issue.”

Defence lawyer Zach Kinahan told the judge his client fell on hard times, including a brain injury, difficulty accessing money at the time of the offence and other, more recent financial hardships.

“He apologized and acknowledged.”

The judge sympathized with the accused.

“One one level, what you said to the person at the bank is very disturbing. I think we’re all concerned about that,” Killeen told the accused.

“Then again, there were a variety of things going on in your life that I have to take into account.”

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