Bylaw officer assaulted in B.C. suburb over peacock complaint

Surrey RCMP say a man was arrested and released as investigation into assault on peace officer continues

Police are investigating after an alleged assault on a bylaw officer Monday while the city was following up on a complaint that someone had been feeding peacocks in a suburban Surrey neighbourhood that’s become home to a number of birds.

“Our bylaw officer was assaulted at the house,” Surrey’s bylaw manager Jas Rehal said in a message Tuesday.

“He is shaken up but otherwise fine.”

When asked if the person was fined by the city for feeding the birds, Rehal said: “It ended with that incident. [Bylaw] officers will reassess today and take the appropriate action.”

homelessphoto

(Police on scene after an alleged assault on a Surrey bylaw officer. Photo: Julie Cragg)

The incident happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. on June 4, in the 6200-block of 150th Street.

Surrey RCMP say a man was arrested at the scene and has since been released without charges while the investigation continues.

“We are currently investigating an assault on a Peace Officer,” said Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko.

Locals reported seeing up to seven RCMP cruisers at the scene, as well as a fire truck, ambulance and a helicopter flying above.

This comes just days after some residents complained the peacocks were damaging vehicles.

“The most recent thing we’re seeing now is the peafowl attacking cars,” said local Ryan Cragg, adding it’s suspected the birds usually cause damage to dark vehicles because they can see their reflection in those colours, which they mistake for another male during mating season.

“They’ll stare at the car for a couple of hours, they have to work up the nerve,” Cragg said, estimating there could be up to 150 of the birds in the area. “They’re doing some real damage.”

Read also: SIMPSON: Peacock problems dragged on far too long in Surrey

Watch: VIDEO: Peacocks damaging vehicles in Surrey’s Sullivan Heights

Cragg urged to city to move the birds out of the residential area, and to crack down on someone who is apparently acting as a “caretaker” for them.

“This has gone on for a very long time. It’s only getting worse,” Cragg stressed. “At this point, with the numbers involved, just stopping a person from feeding them won’t be enough. It’ll be cruel to the peacocks because once we stop feeding them — and we have to stop — the area there won’t be able to support that many peacocks which means they’re going to move out of the area. They’re going to go elsewhere, so this is going to become a bigger problem.

“The only solution now, while they’re all in one spot, is to catch them all and get them out of Surrey.”

The birds also made headlines earlier this year after a homeowner illegally cut down a tree that served as a home to many of the area’s peacocks.

In May, Parm Brar told the Now-Leader he cut down the tree because he felt he was of options after pleading for three years with the city to do something about the birds.

“I can see people getting upset if I haven’t tried anything, if I just went and cut it down, then I’m totally guilty,” said Brar at the time. “But if I tried for three years? I have videos, I have the city emails.”

Brar said dozens of birds came to the tree every night, leaving massive amounts of feces around his yard and in his gutters. He also says they made loud calls at all hours of the night.

“My kids can’t use the backyard,” he said, adding his elderly father slipped on their feces and injured himself.

See more: Surrey man says he illegally cut peacock tree out of desperation

As peacocks continue to ruffle feathers in Sullivan Heights, the city is looking to other municipalities for a possible solution, including Florida and Hawaii.

But the city says no decisions will be made about what to do with the birds until after a public meeting. Initially, the city said the meeting would be in late May but Rehal said it’s now expected in early July, after the city finishes consulting with other municipalities.

“We need to engage with the community where they’re being impacted,” Rehal told the Now-Leader. “My sense is that the community is split. We need to get together and talk about what the issues are, what people are facing.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

MARS Wildlife Rescue offers some tips on keeping hummingbird feeders clean

Mould from dirty hummingbird feeders can be fatal

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Northern Health Authority expands medical bus use

Over 60 or have mobility challenges? You can now travel on Northern Connections.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughters’ death

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Capitals coach resigns after Stanley Cup win

Barry Trotz announced his resignation on Monday

B.C. pledges $550 million for Indigenous housing

Premier John Horgan says province moving into on-reserve projects

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Blue Jay Roberto Osuna not expected to appear in court

The Blue Jays pitcher is charged with one count of assault by Toronto police

Most Read