Former UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt facing criminal charges, accused of threatening teens

Former UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt faces charges after allegedly threatening a group of teens. (CBC - image credit)

Former Alberta UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt faces criminal charges, accused of threatening a group of teenagers, CBC News has learned.

Fildebrandt, 38, who is now the publisher of the Western Standard news website, faces four charges of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, according to court documents.

According to police, just before 9 p.m. on April 13, 2024, four teens ages 13 and 14 were walking to a nearby convenience store.

They stopped outside Fildebrandt's southwest Calgary home to wait for a friend.

Vehicle chase alleged

Fildebrandt then approached the teens.

"He believed they were responsible for vandalizing his property," according to a statement from the Calgary Police Service.

"When confronted, the boys fled and the man allegedly chased them in his vehicle and threatened them."

A neighbour intervened and Fildebrandt returned to his home, police said.

Fildebrandt has hired defence lawyer Alain Hepner, who said his client was injured, "limping and using a cane."

"The facts are very much exaggerated, and context of the events will be very significant at the trial," said Hepner.

Fildebrandt issues statement

After the news broke Monday, Fildebrandt posted a 500-word statement to the Western Standard site.

According to Fildebrandt, the teens "concocted a story" in order "to avoid the consequences of vandalizing [his] property."

Fildebrandt says he simply shouted at them to "stay off my property" and then called Calgary police in hopes officers would give the boys "a talking to."

But the boys, says Fildebrandt, claimed he had threatened and chased them with a shotgun.

"What they claimed was a shotgun was, in fact, my walking cane, which I have used since a motorcycle accident in September," he wrote.

'Property under attack'

Fildebrandt says in the aftermath of the incident he was threatened by the teens' relatives, who he says came to his home and called him a "right-wing wacko."

"When my property was under attack, I did what every citizen has a right to do: loudly tell them to stop, call the police and non-physically confront them," wrote Fildebrandt.

The documents show Fildebrandt was charged more than two weeks after the alleged incident.

Fildebrandt's release conditions include that he not have any contact or communication with the four teens.

This isn't Fildebrandt's first run-in with the justice system.

In August 2017, plagued by a series of controversies, he quit the UCP caucus.

Illegal hunting incident

Fildebrandt apologized and repaid more than $2,500 after it was revealed he was subletting his Edmonton apartment on Airbnb while claiming his taxpayer-funded housing allowance as an MLA.

He also resigned as the party's finance critic.

That was followed by the revelation that Fildebrandt was facing a hit-and-run charge for colliding with a van in a parking lot and driving away. In December 2018, Fildebrandt was fined $400 after he was convicted of hit an run under the provincial Traffic Safety Act

Two months after that, Fildebrandt pleaded guilty to shooting a deer on private land. On Feb. 2, 2018, he was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine in connection with the deer incident.

That same day, then-UCP leader Jason Kenney announced Fildebrandt would not be allowed to rejoin caucus after he'd stepped down six months earlier.