CALGARY – The Calgary Police Service released a statement about an arrest on an outdoor track that was taped on video this week and shared on social media.
Police claim the person in the video resisted the arrest and interfered with the judiciary.
Officials were called into the area after responding to a request from Calgary Bylaw Services about a hockey game that consisted of far more people than Alberta public health law allowed. According to reports, around 40 people played hockey together.
“Bylaw Services was called despite the signage of the rules on the site,” police wrote in a statement. “They explained the restrictions but couldn’t get users to comply. Because of their non-compliance and the size of the group, we were called in for support.”
The interaction between Ocean Wiesblatt, 21, and the officers, which was recorded on video and shared on social media, turned into an argument in which one of the arresting officers took out her taser.
It wasn’t used, but Wiesblatt was arrested and put in a patrol car.
Officials released a statement on Saturday following the incident that a 21-year-old man was arrested on the rink for obstructing an officer and resisting arrest.
Weisblatt’s family is from Calgary and active in the hockey community. He played in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League while his brothers Orca, Oasiz, and Ozzy all play junior hockey.
Orca plays for the Calgary Hitmen. Oasiz belongs to the Medicine Hat Tigers and Ozzy has just been drafted in the first round by the San Jose Sharks, 31st overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
The draft was written in sign language in particular, as his parents, Kimberly White and Art Wiesblatt, are both deaf.
Weisblatt spoke to CTV News by phone on Saturday and confirmed receipt of the tickets. One of them was created for violating the Public Health Act, which resulted in a US $ 1,200 fine.
“The rules are getting ridiculous,” he said.
While many local residents claimed the situation was an attack by police officers, CPS says it was not.
The published video showed only part of the interaction between Wiesblatt and the officers.
Police say the man was asked “multiple times” to comply with the restrictions and the decision to give him a ticket was only made after repeated denials.
“The arrest came because of violations,” said CPS Supt. Ryan Ayliffe told reporters on Friday. “We will not tolerate people who do not deliberately want to comply.”
Police also claim the person tried to avoid a ticket by refusing to provide identification and “did not stay with officials when asked to”.
According to the Criminal Code, citizens must identify themselves to the police when they are issued a ticket. Otherwise this is a punishable offense.
Officials add that citizens have the right to dispute tickets, but that must be done in court.
“People have every right to challenge tickets, charges, and laws they believe are unjust, but that right must be exercised in court, not by refusing to obey the law enforcement officers’ orders. It is also a criminal offense to physically resist and withdraw from the officers to try to stop or slow down an arrest, “police say.
According to the CPS, there are no officers within the force who enjoy restricting the normal activities of the Calgarians.
“We understand the frustrations these restrictions create as our families grapple with them. However, our job is to enforce the laws our elected governments have put in place and our members do their best to achieve voluntary compliance . “