Read and then scroll to the bottom
|Wednesday, September 3, 2003||Back||The Halifax Herald Limited|
Tim Hortons horseman in trouble
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."
I would say that Tim Hortons has a double double standard
Toronto is a much more friendly place