Police have once again arrested a Calgary mayoral candidate who already faces a restraining order after threatening to arm himself and go to the homes of health workers, as well as charges tied to violations of COVID-19-related public health restrictions.
Early Wednesday morning, Edmonton police arrested Kevin J. Johnston, who also faces other allegations in Alberta, as well as assault and hate crimes charges in B.C. and Ontario.
He was wanted on one Criminal Code warrant for causing a disturbance and a violation of a Court of Queen’s Bench Order, according to Calgary police.
The second violation was for taking part in an illegal public gathering.
Calgary police said in a statement that the latest charges are connected to an incident that took place on Saturday at the CORE Shopping Centre in downtown Calgary.
Police said several store employees reported feeling concerned for their safety after having confrontations with Johnston that day.
Johnston allegedly went into stores in the mall without wearing a mask. When asked to put one on, he became verbally abusive to employees, police said in the statement.
Johnston would leave the stores, then return with more people and continue to engage employees verbally while live streaming the incident, police said.
Many of the store employees involved are young people who “were either working alone or with one other person and feared for their safety as a result of the confrontation by the group,” police said.
Police continue to investigate the actions of the people who were with Johnston during the alleged verbal abuse.
Johnston, who has a history of belligerent and racist behaviour, has said he is prepared to arm himself and go to the homes of health officials to arrest those who have taken enforcement actions.
He is currently bound by a restraining order sought by Alberta Health Services, banning him from obstructing or interfering with Alberta Health Services employees.
Johnston was arrested by Calgary police May 8 after he promoted and attended three large gatherings in contravention of pandemic-related health restrictions.
He is already accused of repeatedly refusing to abide by public health restrictions and organizing events encouraging others to break the rules as well. His hearing is set to take place on June 16.
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