Montreal news media miss community drama


Please see update below

Streets closed for several hours, troubled man leaves peacefully

CopCars I’ll never understand the news media. Take Saturday for instance. I live in a vibrant little community on the doorstep of downtown Montreal where sunny summer Saturdays are usually taken up with kids’ soccer and the household chores such as shopping and gardening.

… a few meters down the street, a phalanx of police/fire/SWAT vehicles and personnel

Last Saturday was no different except for two things, a popular annual service club fund-raising garage sale and, just a few meters down the street, a phalanx of police/fire/SWAT vehicles and personnel, as well as several ambulances gathered at an apartment building not 50 meters from the above mentioned soccer games.

OrangeEvidently a much troubled young man had been threatening to jump from a second story window, or maybe he was just looking out of the window. The decision was made to put in place a giant orange marshmallow-like landing pad, just in case. When I saw him he was wielding what I at first thought was a large knife. I feared he was going to cut himself while sitting in the window. Fortunately he was soon using the “knife” to blow bubbles.

How can a dozen police cars, three or four ambulances, at least two fire trucks, numerous SWAT team members – big men and women with even bigger guns, and enough orange crowd control tape to go to the moon and back, the closure of a main street for several hours, in a usually sedate neighborhood not merit mention on radio and in print?

I have no idea what triggered this man’s problem, but I wish him and his family well. What surprised me was that, to the best of my knowledge, there was a total lack of media coverage. (As the community weeklies publish on Wednesday and Thursday they are off the hook, for now!) How can a dozen police cars, three or four ambulances, at least two fire trucks, numerous SWAT team members – big men and women with even bigger guns, and enough orange crowd control tape to go to the moon and back, the closure of a main street for several hours, in a usually sedate neighborhood not merit mention on radio and in print? I’m no security expert, but for a single maybe-jumper, from a second floor at that, that’s a whole lot of emergency equipment and staff. Was there more to this than met the eye? I have to think so.
SWAT
This wasn’t a blip, I was able to do my grocery shopping and have lunch and still the streets were closed upon my return.

Not a mention on local radio or local television news.

Not a mention on local radio or local television news. I understand resources are tight, but an incident of this nature warranted at least a reference, if not a bit of video. In this era of social media it strikes as odd that this event took place almost secretly. (Although the man in question did seem to be using a smartphone during his appearances at the window, so at least he was Tweeting the news, albeit while making it!)

The police seem to have averted a potentially dangerous situation. Well done.

Most importantly the man eventually walked out of the building, handcuffed but evidently fine, and got into a waiting ambulance. The police seem to have averted a potentially dangerous situation. Well done.

 

 

UPDATE

Kudos to local newspaper The Westmount Independent for providing coverage of the incident in the June 11, 2013 edition as below.

Independent

 

 

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