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Old 09-04-2015, 04:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Yukon MP Tackles and Arrests Woman

This article is hilarious.

In camouflage, carrying handcuffs, Yukon Conservative MP and former mixed-martial-arts fighter Ryan Leef jumped out of the bushes in the darkness to tackle an 110-pound woman caught destroying his campaign signs along the Alaska Highway.

Whitehorse resident Carrie Boles was on her way home from errands late last week when she got fed up with the Conservative placards lining the highway. “I hate election time and those signs are so gaudy,” said the fledgling playwright and adult-education student.

So after dealing with her livestock and doing the dishes, she grabbed a steak knife from the drawer and decided to engage in her first act of civil disobedience.

Ms. Boles went out at dusk and carefully carved Mr. Leef’s name and the Conservative logo out of six small campaign signs and one big one. “It wasn’t easy,” she said. “That is tough material.”

By the next afternoon, Ms. Boles was surprised to find that all the Conservative signs had been replaced, and another one added. “I decided to go out again, to bug the poor lackey putting up the signs,” she said.

Ms. Boles was unaware defacing election signs was a criminal act.

She was on her third blue placard, carefully tucking the cutout plastic bits under the sandbags holding the signs, when she heard a rustle in the bushes. In the Yukon, this usually signifies wildlife, and Ms. Boles tried to make out whether the dark shape was a bear or possibly a young moose.

It was dark and rainy, and Ms. Boles, alone beside the empty highway, had only her trusty bike, Sancho. Her adrenaline spiked. As the shape got closer, Ms. Boles realized it was two men: one in black, the other in camouflage.

It happened fast. Ms. Boles’s left arm was twisted behind her back and her body was forced to the ground. In pain, terrified of sexual assault, Ms. Boles still couldn’t bring herself to use the knife she was carrying to deface the signs. “As a gentle spirit, I could not imagine using it as a weapon in any situation,” she said. “It didn’t even dawn on me.”

Shouting “citizen’s arrest, citizen’s arrest,” the man in camouflage handcuffed Ms. Boles.

It wasn’t until the other man started talking to the RCMP on the phone, that Ms. Boles realized her attacker was the Yukon’s Conservative MP.

“I said, ‘Mr. Leef, is that you? You should be ashamed of yourself,’” said Ms. Boles. “‘Why go to all this effort to weed out someone like me?’”

Mr. Leef informed Ms. Boles her vandalism was criminal, that he was recording the whole arrest and that there was a motion sensor attached to a camera that had been set up in the bush. The man in black also snapped a picture of Ms. Boles.

Mr. Leef is no stranger to law enforcement. Before becoming the Yukon’s MP in 2011, he worked with the RCMP, did a stint as a jail guard, a wildlife officer and finally jumped in the ring as an MMA cage fighter.

“The more you learn, the more dangerous you become,” Mr. Leef said after being knocked out during an MMA Armageddon Fighting Championship in 2010. “I’ve always been a person who learns more from my losses than my victories.”

Mr. Leef was out installing the camera and trying to decide what to do about the repeat vandalism of his signs, when he spotted Ms. Boles, dressed in black, cutting up one of his placards.

He called the RCMP, who had already opened a file on the previous day’s vandalism, but was worried the culprit might get away while he waited.

“We do not recommend people participate in a citizen’s arrest, because they often don’t have the knowledge or comfort,” Mr. Leef said. “But I have more than 20 years experience in law enforcement and am a national law-enforcement instructor.”

Mr. Leef was carrying handcuffs because, with his training, he always “comes prepared,” he said.

He also knew there was a possibility he’d run into the person “heinously” vandalizing the signs, but didn’t anticipate it. “And there she was, caught red-handed,” he said. “I think I was as surprised as she was.”

Mr. Leef was professional, said Ms. Boles. “But he was rough with me and really had a tight squeeze on my elbow.” A week after the citizen’s arrest, her arm is still tender.

“Any time an arrest is affected, a level of force must be used,” said Mr. Leef. “I had no clue who I was dealing with, it was dark and raining and I knew they had a knife.”

Mr. Leef did not end up pressing charges. Instead he suggested Ms. Boles channel her energy into work with a political party. “I didn’t want to affect this woman’s life because of a bad decision,” he said. “I am confident through our discussion she knows what she did is wrong and won’t do it again.”

It is disheartening to know some Yukoners would do this, he added. “Property crimes are not victimless, and there should be real consequences. Why is it my fault for catching her?”

Mr. Leef isn’t taking the placard attack personally. It is happening across the country, he said. “You won’t often hear me quote [Green Party Leader] Elizabeth May, but she summed it up by saying, ‘When people vandalize signs, their quality of engagement is not meeting the standards of democracy.’”

Ms. Boles, who admits to not having voted in the past decade, says she now intends to vote in the upcoming federal election.

“As I knelt, handcuffed in the pouring rain with the local Conservative Party member as my arresting officer, I silently called out to Canadians to vote for a more balanced government this upcoming election,” Ms. Boles later wrote in a letter to Yukon media.

“I won’t be voting for Leef and the Conservatives,” she said. “Because, something doesn’t feel right in our country with this unbalanced government.”
Yukon MP tackles, arrests woman vandalising his election sign - The Globe and Mail
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