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

Wineries in the Central Okanagan this year saw a high quality harvest, but a low yield. Pictured is a winery in West Kelowna, in October. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

(File image)
Break-in suspects arrested after foot pursuit by Kelowna RCMP

Two men have been charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, and breach of a court order

Kate Pauling selling her cookies. (Contributed)
Kelowna newspaper carrier spreads joy to children in need

Kate Pauling fund-raises for Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Boxes

Ashley Stone’s Village App is one of the semi-finalists for the Total Mom Pitch. (The Village App - Facebook)
Kelowna mom’s app semi-finalist in Canada’s Total Mom Pitch

Ashley Stone is developing an app called Village, a community-based messaging platform where people can ask for and offer help

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Report of gunfire leads RCMP to men barricaded in North Shuswap home

Chase RCMP said investigation related to firearms offences is ongoing

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

The Vernon Public Art Gallery is looking to the community to support its programming, which VantageOne Credit Union is matching for Giving Tuesday. (VPAG image)
Vernon art gallery gets a boost for Giving Tuesday

VantageOne Credit Union matching donations

The Vernon swimming pool is closed Friday. (morning star file photo)
Swim, skate and play fees rise 5% in North Okanagan

Weekend hours also reduced as rec centre struggles with fewer people and fewer funds

The City of Salmon Arm erected a fence around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to camping by people who don’t have homes. The closure is temporary but it’s not known when it will be reopened. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon Arm erects fence around public plaza to prevent camping

Lieutenant says lack of public space affects people without homes but he understands city’s decision

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

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

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus

School District 83 says member of school community self-isolating at home

Most Read