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Okanagan Falls residents ‘terrified’ of neighbour following violent incidents

Click to play video: 'Okanagan Falls residents ‘terrified’ of neighbour following violent incidents' Okanagan Falls residents ‘terrified’ of neighbour following violent incidents
Okanagan Falls residents ‘terrified’ of neighbour following violent incidents – Jun 14, 2022

Residents in Okanagan Falls say they are terrified of their neighbour following several violent incidents.

Eugene Dettling was walking his dog along Willow Street on Thursday when he says he was beaten to the ground by a neighbour.

“I heard someone yell from behind me in a very loud voice, ‘I’m going to f-ing kill you,’” said Dettling.

“I barely had time to turn around and I saw a very large man running at me with his arms flailing in the air. I tried to pick up my dog, he hit me in the head, and he bowled me over and Sophie was swinging in the air.”

The community says Martin, the young man who allegedly attacked Eugene, has been wreaking havoc on the community for years.

Jodi Charley said their son-in-law was accosted back in February.

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“He was driving up to our house at night and he got out of the car, and he heard actually the gentleman’s mother screaming at him to run,” said Charley.

Okanagan Falls resident Ron Logan has lived in the area for seven years and says Martin has verbally assaulted him and chased him.

Logan says Martin’s behaviour has gotten progressively worse over the years and is now terrified to leave his own home.

“You hear of people that live in fear in your own homes and you don’t understand it until you happens to you,” said Logan.

“Where you actually come home and you’re looking around your shoulders when you’re going into your own home, and you go inside your house and you lock yourself in your house.”

Eugene Dettling said he is concerned for his community as there is an elementary school, seniors centre and kids’ park only steps from Martin’s house.

“We have to be protected. You know, I don’t wish any harm on the family or on him,” said Dettling.

“I was able to take a punch and get back up but what if it’s a young mom with a baby in a stroller? What if it’s a senior.”

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Martin’s family said he is currently at the Okanagan Correctional Facility but that is not bringing any comfort to the community.

“It’s out of control and regardless of his issue, it has to be stopped he needs to be removed for the safety of the people in Okanagan Falls,” added Dettling.

According to Martin’s family, he does suffer from mental health issues, but they have been struggling to find him proper treatment.

“I just would like to apologize to the community. I know there’s been a lot of people who don’t feel safe when my son was here,” said Martin’s mom Sylvia Tingson.

“And I just would like to say that I’ve done everything I can to make sure that my son is safe. But the system brought him back to me.”

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Sylvia Tingson went on to say that she doesn’t know what else to do.

“I am one person trying to help everybody. I know my son needs my help but I also really want to make sure that the people are safe, and my family safe and me, myself is safe,” said Tingson.

“So, doing [those] four major jobs on my own, I cannot do it by myself. I need help and I’m crying for help to the system.”

Global News reached out to Penticton RCMP for comment, but they did not response to our request for an interview.

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