Arrested McDonald Park protester sounds off

By James Peters
April 14, 2016 - 10:31am

KAMLOOPS — The McDonald Park protester arrested and charged after an encounter with a City of Kamloops employee yesterday wants to tell his side of the story.

61 year old Tom Pedrotti is facing charges of assault with a weapon and resisting arrest after allegedly reversing his truck into Community Safety and Enforcement Manager Jon Wilson, who was supervising by-law officers as they guarded the work site at McDonald Park.

Pedrotti says he was simply trying to move his truck, and had cleared it with the nearby heavy equipment operator, when Wilson stepped in.

"I went over to the operator, and I motioned to him, 'Can I back out and go that way?' He gave me a nod and thumbs up, I gave him a thumbs up back. Then I went and got into my truck and started to move, and this stupid same by-law officer comes running over while I'm moving the truck. He's yelling at me and then he jumps behind the truck and tries to stop the truck, and I'm moving! And I just kept moving," said Pedrotti.

"Then when I stopped to turn to go up toward Royal Avenue, he yells into my door and tries to grab me, so I just put in first gear and dumped the clutch and he went flying. Then I took off and parked it out front."

When RCMP officers arrived, the situation escalated.

"I'm trying to phone the neighbour to let them know what's going on, so that [she] can take some video," said Pedrotti. "That's resisting arrest right there, so he yanked me out of my back door onto my deck and they both tackled me onto the back lawn, and just about broke my arm putting handcuffs on me. My phone went flying, my glasses went flying. I thought they were gonna step on them."

"I don't want to go to jail. This is indictable and I don't want a record and I don't want to go to jail. I'm scared, man."

Pedrotti says he realizes he acted rashly, but feels Wilson bears some responsibility as well.

"The operator gave me the thumbs up to move my vehicle, and then [Wilson] jumps in the way. That was stupid of him and it was stupid of me to keep moving, but I don't know, he's just an ass. I don't understand people like that," said Pedrotti.

"Plus, the other two by-law officers who were standing there, I was talking to them, they were fine. They never got in the way. They never bothered me at all."

Pedrotti's court date to answer to the charges is set for June 23.

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