Whistler RCMP publicly issued a statement of disappointment Monday morning (Dec. 10) after officers were obstructed by a large crowd while making a routine arrest outside a bar on Saturday night (Dec. 8).
Sgt. Rob Knapton said during the encounter an individual in the aggressive crowd went as far as to try and pull one of the officer's firearms from its holster.
"It is disappointing when something like this happens," Knapton said. "The big thing is to remember this is a resort community where families come to enjoy their vacations.
"We support people going out and having a good time, but at the end of the day you have to respect everybody that is here and those tasked with keeping the community safe."
The incident began at 10 p.m. when RCMP were contacted by a bar on London Lane in Creekside when about 50 people became aggressive towards the bar staff. The RCMP press release indicated the bar was at capacity and those outside were not allowed to enter.
Upon officers arriving at the bar the crowd outside began to disperse, however one individual was observed damaging a ski rack that had skis in it.
Police began to arrest the 23-year-old Pemberton man for mischief, but he resisted their efforts. Knapton said at that time the crowd surrounded the officers and verbally encouraged the male to continue resisting. He added people in the crowd attempted to physically assault the officers and pull the male away, which is when somebody tried to grab one of their firearms.
The Pemberton man was successfully separated from the crowd without trouble and faces charges of resisting arrest, causing a disturbance and mischief.
Knapton said charges have not been sought for the individual who tried to take the officer's firearm because due to the fact that person was part of a larger crowd there would be difficulty in identifying who exactly it was and officers determined it was a safer course of action to leave the scene with the person they had in custody.
But the severity of what could have happened had they succeeded in taking the gun was evident.
"It is something that could turn everything into a dire situation," Knapton said.