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Missing Squamish teen found in Alberta

Police Briefs: Supreme Court upholds driving prohibition; Speeders caught



A Squamish teen who had been missing for more than a week has turned up “safe and sound” in Alberta, according to police.

Eighteen-year-old Nile Sinnes was last seen the evening of Sunday, June 18 at his home in the Brackendale area. He failed to show up for work in Whistler the following morning, ringing alarm bells among friends who wrote on social media that it was “completely out of character” for the teenager.

It's unclear why Sinnes, an experienced backcountry user, had traveled to Alberta.

In a release, Squamish RCMP Cpl. Sascha Banks extended thanks to the “family, friends, Search and Rescue groups, and those who participated in looking for Nile.

“The response from the residents of Squamish and those around the province was immense and their assistance in the investigation was invaluable.”

B.C. Supreme Court upholds Whistler woman’s driving prohibition

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed a petition from a Whistler woman to throw out a 90-day driving prohibition after she refused a roadside breath demand.

On Oct. 7, 2016, Kaitlyn Bell was stopped at a police roadblock on the corner of Highway 99 and Whistler Way. The officer, Const. Mike Zwicker, formed grounds to believe Bell was intoxicated, and requested a breath sample, which she repeatedly refused. The legal blood alcohol limit in B.C. is 0.05.

“Part of our responsibility is to make sure somebody understands beyond a reasonable doubt their jeopardy should they not provide a (breath) sample,” Zwicker explained in an interview with Pique. “Failing to provide a sample of breath carries the same penalty as having provided a sample and blowing over.”

This formed the basis for Bell’s petition, which was reviewed by an adjudicator before being challenged all the way up to B.C.’s highest court. Her lawyer, K. Lee, argued that the officer’s “prolonged” attempts to administer a breath demand in spite of Bell’s refusals were done “for his own entertainment” and infringed on her charter rights, a claim the adjudicator said was unsupported by evidence.

"(T)he evidence before me indicates that the officer was making genuine attempts to obtain a breath sample, confirm your intentions, and to inform you regarding different aspects of the investigation,” the decision read. “The evidence indicates that the officer was acting in your best interests.”

Lee also contended there were inconsistencies in how the officer signed the affidavit and other documents, claiming that Zwicker’s badge number was incorrectly recorded in one spot on the form, and that there were “different looking signatures” on the report that possibly indicated multiple officers had signed it.

“I am not a handwriting expert … but I do not find the difference your lawyer points out to be sufficient evidence that there were multiple officers present and that the (report) and the Notice were completed by different people, rendering the (report) unsworn.”

Supreme Court Justice Patrice Abrioux agreed with the adjudicator’s ruling, saying she “acted reasonably in her decision making process” and upheld Bell’s driving prohibition.

While Zwicker was surprised the case made it to the Supreme Court, he was ultimately satisfied with the ruling.

“The good thing from all of this is we got a really good decision on behalf of police and our ability to conduct a proper investigation,” he said.

Bell could not be reached by press time.

Whistler police nab speeders

With the summer in full swing, the Whistler RCMP is reminding drivers to obey the rules of the road after nabbing three excessive speeders in recent weeks.

On June 16, officers stopped a truck traveling 143 kilometres an hour in a 100-kilometre zone. Then, on June 21, another driver was caught going 123 km/h in an 80-km zone. Finally, a car was clocked on June 23 going 63 km over the posted limit.

“This driving behaviour can lead to a serious motor-vehicle collision,” Cpl. Diane Blain warned in a release. “It’s really not worth it to speed.”

Police asking for help tracking down Creekside vandal

Whistler police are asking the public for help in identifying the person responsible for vandalizing several signs in Creekside.

On June 22, Mounties responded to a report of an individual spray-painting a sign. The witness was not able to provide an exact description of the suspect, but noted the individual had a large dog with them.

The attending officer also noted that black spray paint had been used to tag several signs and a utility box in the area.

Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact the detachment at 604-932-3044 or Sea to Sky Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.