Court proceedings continue at the district courthouse, in connection with the hostage-taking last fall in Kenora. Two are set for a bail hearing Wednesday, while the others are set to appear in judge's court tomorrow.
On Sept. 14, members of the Kenora detachment of the OPP assisted the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services at the Kenora jail with a hostage situation. As a result of the investigation by the Kenora OPP Crime Unit, seven men were arrested and charged.
Travis Polkinghorne and Joshua Pitchenese -- both of Wabigoon -- are set for bail court Wednesday, while Patrick Kanate of North Caribou Lake First Nation, Garnet Sumner of Peguis First Nation, along with Waylon Morton and Ryan Nickel -- both of Dryden are set for judge's court Monday.
Following their investigation, police laid charges of:
- Hostage Taking, section 279.1(2)(b);
- Assault a Peace Officer with a Weapon, section 270.01(1)(a) (12 counts);
- Disarming a Peace Officer section 270.1(1);
- Unauthorized Possession of a Weapon section 91(2);
- Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose section 88;
- Possession of a Firearm, Prohibited or Restricted Weapon Obtained by Crime section 96(a); and
- Uttering Threats-Cause Death or Bodily Harm section 264.1(1)(a).
On Friday, the province released its action plan for improving security at the jail. It included:
- improving lighting, cameras, doors, and locks
- sharing information about gangs and potential threats within the jail with local police
- recruiting for a field intelligence officer
- providing specialized equipment for the Institutional Crisis Intervention Team
- building new training and crisis ready rooms
- having more staff present when doors are unlocked or medical assistance is provided
The corrections officer involved in the hostage taking is still recovering, and he has not yet returned to work.
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