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

 

 

Categories Canada, Montreal, News, WestmountTags , , , ,

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