Arnprior -- Two men who barricaded themselves for more than four hours inside their rented unit on Claude Street in Arnprior last Friday morning (July 15) were taken into custody after several Ontario Provincial Police officers entered the residence and arrested them.
The Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), armed with semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflage gear, rammed the front door, arrested two males, escorted them to two OPP units and transported them to the Arnprior OPP station for processing.
The two were awaiting a show cause hearing which was scheduled for today (Wednesday) to determine if they are eligible for release with bail conditions. Charged with assault, assault with a weapon and intimidation of justice officials is Brian Fulljames, 33. Charged with assault, two counts of assault with a weapon and three counts of assault a peace office with a weapon is Forest Jensen, 25, both of Arnprior.
Sometime around 7:30 a.m. the owner of the residence attempted to serve the two men with an eviction order citing their refusal to pay rent over a two-year period. Some form of physical altercation took place with the owner exiting the building showing signs of being injured. The owner would later confirm one of the men used a slingshot to propel an object which struck him in the torso.
He called 911 and waited for members of the Arnprior OPP Detachment to arrive and assist in their removal. Additional OPP officers from Arnprior, Renfrew, Killaloe and Upper Ottawa Valley Detachments arrived as did the TRU under the command of the OPP East Region Headquarters.
At 8 a.m., Renfrew OPP issued a tweet advising residents to avoid the area of Claude Street. The street was blocked off to contain the occupants of the multi-unit apartment building where the two men had resided. According to the owner of the building, they paid no rent for two years.
In the tweet, police said there was no danger to the public.
During the next 90 minutes, the quiet street that borders the Madawaska River, was filled with more than 15 OPP vehicles, two ambulances from the County of Renfrew Paramedic Services and a K9 Unit.
However, it was the arrival of TRU members dressed in military fatigues and brandishing semi-automatic weapons, that caused several neighbours inside their homes to realize the seriousness of the situation.
With the building surrounded, three members of the tactical unit began a dialogue with the men as a means to have them exit the site peacefully.
One unidentified officer repeatedly explained the situation to them through a speaker.
Shortly before noon, TRU officers rammed the main door and then entered the building. In less than two minutes, they exited, bringing the suspects out one at a time and placing them in the back seat of the police vehicles.
By 12:30 most officers had departed and residents in the area began to mingle on the street.
Talking to some of the neighbours it appeared the consensus was the two men had long overstayed their welcome with past behaviours that caused some concern among them. One woman who asked her name not be used, said the two men showed little regard for maintaining upkeep of the site.
"They lived rent free for almost two years and the owner recently bought the building and he was really working hard to upgrade it by installing new windows, new doors and was working on making it look good again after some neglect," she said. "The owner could not evict them because of the COVID rule that nobody could be evicted during the pandemic. Well, that was a long time ago and the new owner served them a proper eviction notice and this is what happened."
The front of the building was covered with small pink signs listing their grievances with the owner including claims of an unjustified and illegal eviction process. They also had a large Canadian flag with a painted black line across the maple leaf.
Bruce McIntyre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader