Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
Standoff ends in surrender

Situation lasts more than 60 hours, man has been charged

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Baker Lake (Aug 14/02) - An armed standoff in Baker Lake, which lasted more than 60 hours, ended peacefully Monday.

A 41-year-old man surrendered to police about 6:20 p.m. Aug. 12.

There were no injuries during the standoff.

The ordeal began when two members of the Baker Lake RCMP responded to a call of a man vandalizing the contents of a residence about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 10.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the man was upset over the fact there was no coffee in the house.

When police arrived at the scene, the man was armed with an axe and a knife.

The officers tried to negotiate with the man, but were forced to exit when he armed himself with a rifle.

Police have confirmed two rifles were taken from the scene, but would not comment on their calibre.

Staff Sgt. Mike Jeffrey said the attending officers were able to clear the other occupants out of the home upon their arrival.

At least five families were evacuated from homes in the surrounding area.

Ten RCMP officers were flown into Baker from Iqaluit's V Division, a number of whom were trained in containment procedures.

"There was a lot of patience used by the police officers who continued to negotiate with this individual who, initially, did not want to communicate," said Jeffrey.

"They eventually convinced him to come outside, at which point we were able to apprehend him.

"Because he was alone in the residence, it never reached the stage of an order being given for RCMP to enter the premises."

An Ottawa-based psychiatrist was consulted by telephone during the ordeal.

One person close to the family, who does not want to be identified, said the man had stopped taking medication prescribed for a mental illness, but did not know if it was by a doctor's decision or by personal choice.

"The man was known to the police as having some mental disorders, but I'm not going to get into the particulars of that as this time," said Jeffrey.

"That aspect (his medication) is still under investigation and we're not going to release that information at this time."

Barnabas Arngna'naaq has been charged with possession of a firearm dangerous to the public, and one count each of uttering threats and mischief to property over $5,000.

Arngna'naaq was transported to Iqaluit on Tuesday, where he will appear at a show cause hearing this week.