Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie TritschlerBrody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

‘This is a big outdoor space’: Grand Forks man behind backyard party to fight COVID tickets

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

Police are recommending criminal charges against a Grand Forks man who hosted a backyard party featuring live bands at his property near the American border Saturday, Oct. 10.

Grand Forks RCMP were called to the party between 7:30 and 8 p.m., after neighbours called 9-1-1 to complain about loud music they said had been playing for hours.

According to Cpl. Breadon Thomas, police returned about 90 minutes later, finding “around 60 people” in front of a stage on the accused’s property. A band was playing loud music, despite clear instructions by police to shut down the party.

RELATED: 3 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, cluster outbreak in Merritt

Thomas said the crowd wasn’t socially distanced and people weren’t wearing masks. A binder left out for guests’ contact-tracing information had been left empty, he added.

The homeowner was given two $230 tickets. The first for “refusing to comply” with police, the second for allegedly violating the COVID-related Measures Act, which limits outdoor gatherings to 50 people.

Thomas withheld the man’s name pending charges by Crown prosecutors, but homeowner Brody Peterson told The Gazette that he intends to fight both tickets.

Speaking from his home on Friday, Oct. 15, Peterson weighed his outdoor “house warming” against a notoriously crowded house party that netted a $2,300 fine by Victoria police in August.

“I’m not some punk kid in Victoria having an apartment party. This is a big outdoor space,” he said, pointing to his backyard.

READ MORE: VicPD issues $2,300 violation ticket to host of large party in one-bedroom suite

Peterson said he’d invited up to 25 friends and family members to celebrate his recent home purchase.

“It wasn’t advertised. No one was charged to come here. No bands were paid. It wasn’t a ‘rock concert.’ It just wasn’t like that.”

Guests were told to come in and out of his backyard through separately designated gates, he said. People were offered hand sanitizer and masks, but Peterson said people felt uncomfortable giving their contact information after police arrived.

He said he refused to break up the party when told by police because he was worried people drinking on his property weren’t fit to drive.

“They just wanted everyone to go home, and I said, ‘Well, I don’t think we should scramble everyone. If people are under the influence, we need to find them safe ways of getting home: I’ll call every taxi in town and find every designated driver here.’”

Sound engineer Tom Plotnikoff said he’d set up stage amplifiers that were roughly as powerful as a bar room karaoke set.

“I’m sure some of the COVID protocols weren’t followed,” he said, noting between six and 10 people were “moshing” near the stage toward the end of the night. There was “no rowdiness” at the party, but Plotnikoff qualified that Peterson’s “good intentions” were perhaps marred by “poor execution.”

Peterson’s neighbours were generally upset. The Gazette spoke to around a dozen people at eight nearby addresses, most of whom said they weren’t told about the party.

The consensus was that the noise didn’t stop until around 11:30 p.m., roughly half an hour past the noise bylaw cut-off.

Peterson said the music was turned off by 11 p.m.

“One thing I do regret is not telling absolutely everyone in this neighbourhood that I was going to throw a party,” he said.

Peterson has one month to pay or dispute his tickets.

On Oct. 16, Interior Health stated there are currently 28 COVID-19 cases active and in isolation. Two people are in hospital. No one is in ICU.

This brings the total number of cases in the health region, since the start of the pandemic, to 590.

No criminal charges have been laid against Peterson as of Monday, Oct. 19.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusGrand ForksRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The famous band calls Fernie home. (Photo Contributed)
Shred Kelly gets creative with pandemic performances

CBC Radio recently promoted the band, highlighting their recent virtual tour and upcoming plans

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Green spaces have offered many a sense of peace throughout the pandemic. (Photo Contributed)
Nature Conservancy of Canada matches all donations on Dec. 1

The initiative honours Giving Tuesday, an initiative created to combat Black Friday’s consumerism

Signs are posted at the entrance of newly deactivated roads. (Photo Contributed)
Teck hosts virtual Annual Outdoor Recreationalist Meeting

The Dec. 2 meeting will touch on biodiversity, reclamation, and road rehabilitation

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read