(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Another day, another evacuee from Pikangikum has been arrested. Appearing in a Thunder Bay bail court this morning via video from the Thunder Bay Police Service station is 20-year-old Ace Turtle. Justice of the Peace Denette Ellard, Crown Attorney VanKessel and duty counsel lawyer Atatise are working the courtroom this morning.
Allegations are that Turtle assaulted a woman he was already on a court ordered bail condition to not even contact. Further, during his arrest, sources indicate he headbutted a Thunder Bay Police Service officer in the penis. The officer showed extreme restraint and did not retaliate.
Turtle is facing the following criminal charges after the July 15th incident:
- Breach bail conditions (recognizance) (no contact).
- Assault on a woman.
- Assault police officer.
- Utter threat to cause bodily harm.
- Breach of probation (keep the peace and be of good behaviour) x2.
The Crown states that Turtle finds himself in a reverse-onus situation, and will have to show the courts why he should be released. Further, it is stated that the Crown intends to show cause as to why Turtle should be detained. Concerns are raised on the primary and secondary grounds.
Primary grounds indicate that the Crown believes it is unlikely that Turtle will return to court if released. Secondary ground concerns indicate the Crown believes that there is a substantial risk that Turtle will become either a public safety concern or reoffend should he be released.
Turtle has a significant and violent criminal record, court hears from the Crown. A no-contact order is request so that Turtle cannot reach out to his victim while in custody.
Duty counsel requests a remand until tomorrow so that Turtle has time to contact his lawyer who is located in Kenora. This is said to give them time to craft a bail plan. Turtle is ordered to stay in jail until at least tomorrow.
HISTORY ON TURTLE
On May 21, 2018, a wildfire started along the shore of Family Lake and with very dry and windy conditions, it quickly grew out of control. The fire ultimately forced the evacuation of over 2,000 residents of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations for over a month.
By the time it was contained, the fire had burned 29,000 hectares (ha.) of forest in Manitoba and 3,000 ha. in Ontario. It damaged a one-kilometre-long section of Manitoba Hydro line, a sub-station, six residences and an equipment warehouse on Little Grand Rapids First Nation. In addition, it damaged 15 buildings at Moar Lake Lodge and five buildings at Fishing Lake Lodge.
Fire suppression costs totalled $1.3 million in Manitoba and $500,000 in Ontario.
After an investigation by Manitoba Sustainable Development, with support from the RCMP and the community of Little Grand Rapids, three individuals face a number of charges in connection to the fire.
Damian Deacon Frost Bushie, 19, of Little Grand Rapids, and Ace River Turtle, 20, of Pikangikum, Ont., have been charged with arson and leaving a place without ensuring the fire is out.
Another individual, a youth who cannot be named under The Youth Criminal Justice Act, has also been charged with arson and leaving a place without ensuring the fire is out.
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.