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Wednesday, September 3, 2003 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

Brian Medel / Yarmouth Bureau
Robert Chetwynd hops down from a prisoner van at the Yarmouth courthouse on Tuesday. He spent the weekend in jail.

Brian Medel / Yarmouth Bureau
Robert Chetwynd leaves the Yarmouth courthouse on Tuesday. He hitchhiked 75 kilometres to his home.


Tim Hortons horseman in trouble
Mounties arrested, jailed man after pulling him from the saddle

By Brian Medel / Yarmouth Bureau

Yarmouth - A Shelburne County man who says he should be allowed to use his horse just like an automobile spent the holiday weekend in jail awaiting a court appearance on charges he rammed a police car with the animal.

Robert Chetwynd, 34, of Doctors Cove was in Yarmouth provincial court Tuesday facing charges of resisting arrest, threatening to kill Const. Kevin Redden, and cruelty to animals for allegedly ramming a parked police cruiser with his gelding, Dillon.

Mounties pulled a horseman from the saddle Friday evening and pepper-sprayed him in an arrest that had officers and horseman loping around parking lots and across busy roads for several minutes before it ended.

Mr. Chetwynd was under court orders to stay away from the Barrington Passage Tim Hortons, where he had often ordered his double-doubles at the drive-through from the back of his horse.

The lobster fisherman and part-time carpenter lost his driver's licence after an April 2000 conviction for impaired driving. He's been caught driving without a licence a few times since then and is not scheduled to get his licence back until November 2004. So he has been getting around by horse for quite some time now.

Mr. Chetwynd is also charged with breaching an undertaking and a recognizance order and has been issued two summary offence tickets under the provincial Protection of Property and Motor Vehicle acts.

He was jailed until his court appearance Tuesday. Police also seized his four-year-old quarter-horse-Appaloosa mix.

The animal is being cared for at a location recommended to the RCMP by a local veterinary hospital.

"That's his best friend in the whole world," said Mr. Chetwynd's next-door neighbour, Dale Sutherland. "He's probably a little worried."

Mr. Chetwynd was released Tuesday by Judge Robert Prince on condition that he stay away from Tim Hortons and the Atlantic Superstore in Barrington Passage and that he not possess any animal suitable for riding, draft work or pack purposes.

He hitchhiked the 75 kilometres home from court.

All matters were adjourned until Nov. 20 in Barrington provincial court, when Mr. Chetwynd will face 15 other Criminal Code charges, all of which are related to going for coffee on horseback.

On May 25, 2002, Mr. Chetwynd was served a protection-of-property notice by the RCMP, ordering him to stay away from the Tim Hortons, where he had been visiting the drive-through or hitching his horse outside.

Since then, Mr. Chetwynd has trotted up to the drive-through window several times.

The events of Friday evening began at about 8:20 p.m. when Const. Redden passed the Tim Hortons while on patrol and noticed a man on horseback at the drive-through.

The rider was asked to dismount but refused, Cpl. Michel Lacroix of Barrington RCMP said.

"He was riding his horse in a very dangerous manner to the public. . . . He had to be stopped and that's what the officers did," Cpl. Lacroix said.

Two officers, each driving a car, were involved.

Using their cruisers, the officers were able to corral the horseman.

"Force had to be used. . . . He was basically taken off his horse," Cpl. Lacroix said.

"There is no real damage to the car," he said, referring to the ramming charge.

Some area residents are concerned that Mr. Chetwynd has been given a rough ride.

"He's a pleasant distraction from the usual traffic that's in a hurry to go nowhere," a group of residents said in a statement issued Saturday.

"We've never heard of a survey being done to poll public opinion on this matter, but idle conversations have shown a large number of people with the opinion that Mr. Chetwynd isn't hurting anyone," they said.

Last week, the owner of the Tim Hortons franchise, David Arenburg, said the animal was brought onto the property in an irresponsible manner.

He also said it became an issue of food safety.

The residents weren't buying that argument.

"Fish trucks can come onto the property dripping stinking, bloody water onto the parking lot and no one makes them clean up their waste," they wrote.

"He doesn't really do any harm," said Mr. Chetwynd's neighbour, Ms. Sutherland. "A lot of people enjoy him and enjoy his horse.

"Dillon just trots over here on his own sometimes. We live that close and he's so familiar with coming into our yard. We have no problem with it."


New Update

Thursday, September 4, 2003 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

Robert Chetwynd leads his horse Dillon past the Tim Hortons in Barrington Passage. He's banned from riding his horse through the drive-through, but the coffee shop plans to build a hitching post.


A medium coffee and an oatcake for my horse
Hitching post in works at Tim Hortons

By Brian Medel / Yarmouth Bureau

Barrington Passage - Plans were underway Wednesday to design and install a rest stop for horses and their riders near a Tim Hortons coffee shop here.

"I'd ride up there to get an Ice-Cap," said Tobi Fougere, a horsewoman and riding instructor who gives more than two dozen riding lessons a week.

"I think that's a great idea."

Interest in equestrian events is growing in the area, she said.

"The people that are buying horses in the area . . . you're going to see more than just Jell-O Head riding along," she said Wednesday.

Jell-O Head is the name by which Robert Chetwynd is known to many folks in these parts.

Since May 2002, Mr. Chetwynd, 34, has had to stay away from the Tim Hortons outlet under a court order the coffee shop initiated under the Protection of Property Act.

But he's been charged numerous times since, after ordering coffee from the back of his friendly gelding, Dillon, at the Tim Hortons drive-through.

Mr. Chetwynd has asked the shop to install a hitching post for equestrian traffic.

Franchise owner David Arenburg said he can't do it on Tim Hortons property but has offered to help build one elsewhere.

"I made this offer probably more than a year ago," Mr. Arenburg said Wednesday.

Last Friday evening, Mr. Chetwynd was arrested after an RCMP officer spotted a horseman at the local Tim Hortons drive-through.

Two police officers pulled the rider from the back of the horse and pepper-sprayed him.

He has been charged with resisting arrest, making death threats and cruelty to animals for allegedly ramming a police car with his horse. He spent the long weekend in jail and was released from custody Tuesday until his next court date on Nov. 20.

RCMP seized his horse, which is being cared for at a local farm. Mr. Chetwynd is not allowed to possess a horse for the time being.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Arenburg posted an open letter to his customers in the Barrington Passage store.

"I put it on the doors and on the window," he said.

The letter states plainly that Tim Hortons did not ask the police to come and arrest the horseman last Friday night.

But the coffee shop has called the police on other occasions after Mr. Chetwynd has ridden through.

"We're (told) by the courts to inform them when he is in breach of the court order," Mr. Arenburg said.

The Tim Hortons owner said he has offered to amend the order to allow Mr. Chetwynd to come to the store without his horse.

"We have attempted to assist him in the past and we remain committed to contributing whatever funds are necessary to install a hitching post away from the property in a safe location for the horse and the public," he said.

"Because of substantial safety and health risks, it is not appropriate for his horse to be on our property.

"It's very much unfair for me to ask our employees to clean up after . . . a horse."

Some residents question why fish trucks are allowed to spill parts of their loads or leak bloody water on the property but a horse is not welcome.

"If (fish trucks) slop their gurry, I'm certainly going to talk to them in the same manner," said Mr. Arenburg.

"I do recall talking to people about making sure that their herring doesn't fall all over the place."

The hitching post is proposed for a small piece of land where the Cape Sable Island causeway road meets Highway 3. The site would also include benches and some landscaping.

"I think it would be safe," said Deborah Mood, a local woman who is working with others to make the proposal a reality.

"We haven't designed anything yet. I'm sure it would be very pleasing to the eye," she said.

Businessman Ken Anthony owns the property around the Tim Hortons location, including the site of the proposed hitching post.

"We're certainly looking at it. I really don't see a problem with it," he said Wednesday.



I would say that Tim Hortons has a double double standard


Toronto is a much more friendly place