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Pair honoured by RCMP for helping Vernon officer
For a little guy, Adrian Wikene admits he is loud.
Which the Vernon RCMP detachment certainly appreciates.
Wikene and co-worker Andy Wilkie, who both work for Klean Rite KR Restorations in Salmon Arm, were heading back to Blind Bay, outside of Salmon Arm, from a job in Kelowna on Oct. 15 when they stopped at a red light in Vernon at the bottom of Hospital Hill opposite the Green Valley Motel.
Wikene looked out his window and noticed an RCMP officer trying to subdue a man in the motel parking lot.
“I was driving, saw the incident, it looked to be under control so I rolled down the window and yelled, ‘Way to go’ to the officer. He (the officer) stated loudly, ‘Call 911,’” said Wikene. “Andy called and we went to the scene and took care of it.”
The story begins at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon when Vernon RCMP received a call about a disturbance at Bannister GM.
According to police, the man uttered death threats to employees when he was denied the chance to test drive a vehicle.
A short time later, a Vernon RCMP officer was conducting enquiries when the suspect walked into the parking lot.
“The suspect refused to come co-operatively. Our officer attempted to take him into custody. The man resisted arrest and they both fell to the ground,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
Two women from the motel, associates of the suspect, came out and began to interfere with the officer, grabbing at his hands and face.
Enter Wikene and Wilkie.
“I put weight on the suspect’s legs so he couldn’t kick or flip over, and Adrian was doing crowd control,” said Wilkie.
“I kept the two women away from the scene along with anyone else who wanted to intervene,” added Wikene. RCMP officers were on the scene to assist within two-to-three minutes of Wilkie’s 911 call.
On Monday, the pair were presented Commanding Officer’s citations from Vernon RCMP Insp. Jim McNamara.
“They’re decisive actions are an excellent example of citizens helping out and acting in a manner that makes our community a better and safer place,” said McNamara. “On behalf of our members, as well as the community as a whole, I’d like to express the utmost gratitude to both of you for your quick, selfless assistance.”
The male officer in the case offered his thanks to Wilkie and Wikene at the scene.
For both men, the incident in the motel parking lot was a first, and each said they’d help out again in a heartbeat.
“Absolutely. These guys keep our streets safe,” said Wikene.
“We didn’t do anything heroic,” added Wilkie. “We did what any decent person would have done.”
The suspect, a 29-year-old Vernon man with outstanding warrants in Alberta, was remanded in custody until a provincial court appearance today. He is expected to face charges of causing a disturbance and resisting arrest, and could face further charges. The two women, 39 and 52, were released on a promise to appear in court on Nov. 21 for resisting a peace officer and possibly obstruction.