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 Vancouver Island marmot is an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
VIDEO: ‘Frisky’ Vancouver Island marmots caught on camera

Marmots are catching the eye of researchers when caught on security cameras getting ‘quite frisky’

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

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 following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Most Read