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Peterborough, Ont. police ready if Romana Didulo followers try another arrest attempt

Click to play video: '3 Romana Didulo followers charged after attempting to ‘arrest’ Peterborough police'
3 Romana Didulo followers charged after attempting to ‘arrest’ Peterborough police
WATCH: Typically, in society, it is the police who do the arresting. But on Saturday a group of protesters in Peterborough, Ont., decided it was the officers themselves who needed to be arrested. – Aug 15, 2022

The Peterborough Police Service says it is aware — and ready — if followers of QAnon conspiracy theorist Romana Didulo make a repeat attempt to arrest police officers in the southern Ontario city.

Three people so far have been arrested in connection to a melee outside the service’s station on Aug. 13 after a group of 30 people said they were going to make citizens’ arrests of police officers for “COVID crimes” and “crimes against humanity.” Individuals seen on videos attempted to enter the building and later block a police vehicle entering the parking lot.

Two were arrested that day and a third on Aug. 14. A fourth individual was arrested on Wednesday for an assault on a counter-protester at nearby Confederation Park prior to the police station incident.

Read more: 3 Romana Didulo followers charged after attempting to ‘arrest’ Peterborough police

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The individuals are being led by Didulo, who claims to be the “Queen of Canada” with supernatural abilities. She has led an anti-government, anti-COVID vaccine mandates including ordering followers to kill individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines to children. She has more than 60,000 followers on social media site Telegram.

She was in Peterborough on the day of the arrest attempts as she arrived in an RV and stayed near the vehicle while the followers circled the building looking for entry.

Dr. Christine Sarteschi, associate professor of social work and criminology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been closely following QAnon and Didulo’s movement.

This week she uncovered a follow-up post by one of the men arrested in Peterborough – Frank Curtin, 54, of nearby Millbrook – who posted on Didulo’s site about another opportunity to arrest Peterborough police officers. In the post, Curtin accepts blame for the failed first attempt.

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“But that’s OK because the opportunity to do it right is still ahead of us,” he wrote. “We will get it done. Stay strong and trust the plan, it was meant for us to have faith to follow.”

Sarteschi says the group’s anti-government stance needs to be taken seriously.

“They want to replace it with some creation of their own,” she told Global News earlier this week. “I don’t think we should ignore people who are making steps or strides to actually carry out these ideas.”

On Friday, Global News Peterborough asked the police service about the post. In an email, police said they are closely monitoring the situation.

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“There is a lot of information going around,” the service stated. “Police are aware of the information, are monitoring and will respond accordingly. The service continues to investigate the events of the past weekend.”

Read more: Police arrest Romana Didulo follower who ripped counter-protester’s sign in Peterborough

Police have stated they are looking for a woman who assaulted the same counter-protester in front of the police station, another incident caught on video by lawyer and citizen journalist Caryma Sa’d:

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating one arrest on Saturday that resulted in injuries for a 55-year-old Innsfil, Ont., man. The SIU say the man was admitted to hospital following an “interaction” with police.

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