Three arrested on B.C. ferry after refusing to wear masks, threatening passengers

A view of traffic, including cars, trucks and motorcycles, waiting to board a ferry at the BC Ferries terminal at Tsawwassen, British Columbia on October 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Don Denton

Three men have been arrested and charged after refusing to wear masks on a B.C. ferry, and reportedly threatening other passengers around them.

The incident took place Sept. 24 on the Spirit of British Columbia, which was travelling from Tsawwassen to the Swartz Bay terminal in Sidney.

“It was reported that the men were threatening to fight other passengers after they were confronted by passengers and directed by BC ferries officials to wear the Provincially mandated masks,” said a Friday news release from Sidney/North Saanich RCMP.

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When RCMP boarded the vessel, all three were arrested without incident and charged with mischief.

Police were also investigating whether other charges, such as assault or uttering threats, may be appropriate.

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“These individuals defied the direction of the trained crew members whose job is first and foremost to keep passengers safe,” Cpl. Andres Sanchez said.

“These three men took it upon themselves to put others health at risk by refusing to wear the masks on a crowded voyage and when confronted on their behaviour, threatened others.”

The men were released from custody on conditions not to visit any BC Ferries property, and were expected to appear in Victoria provincial court in December.

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