Psychiatric assessment ordered for man with 36 knives accused of threatening politicians

·2 min read
George Brake/Facebook
George Brake/Facebook

A Shoal Brook man accused of threatening to "execute" politicians in the Newfoundland and Labrador election will remain in custody for a psychiatric assessment, a judge determined Thursday.

Meanwhile, people who live in the Bonne Bay area sketched in some details of what happened before George Brake, 66, was arrested in Tuesday, and expressed concerns about his possible return to a community nestled in Gros Morne National Park.

Brake appeared by phone for Thursday afternoon's proceedings at provincial court in Corner Brook.

Judge Wayne Gorman ordered Brake to undergo a psychiatric assessment at the Waterford Hospital in St. John's.

Brake faces two additional charges linked to a search of his trailer the day after his arrest.

On Wednesday, police found an unlicensed rifle and shotgun that weren't safely stored there, according to court documents.

Those charges are in addition to the four initially laid against him after police discovered 36 hunting and tactical knives in his truck on Tuesday. According to the RCMP, Brake threatened to "execute" local politicians.

Colleen Connors/CBC
Colleen Connors/CBC

Brake lives in a trailer in the small community of Shoal Brook, in Bonne Bay.

People in the area told CBC News that on Tuesday morning around 9 a.m., he visited Pike's Service Station, a popular gathering place.

Customers there say Brake was angry and fired up, talking about stopping the provincial election.

Someone called police to say Brake was heading to Deer Lake. That's where the Mounties eventually stopped and arrested him.

Residents also told CBC that Brake was first heading for the town hall in Shoal Brook but the office was closed. Now, they say staff are nervous to return to the office.

Money problems and conspiracy theories

Brake's public Facebook postings earlier this month included a flurry of rapid-fire posts amplifying debunked far-right conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the U.S. election, as well as the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

According to residents, who say they have known him most of their lives, Brake worked in construction, building houses.

They told CBC Brake has worked and lived in Alberta, but recently moved back to Shoal Brook.

RCMP
RCMP

According to public records, Brake had experienced recent money troubles.

His bank sued him in 2018 over unpaid credit card bills and debt on a line of credit.

Last March, a default order was filed at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court requiring him to pay $85,000.

He is due back in court next week on this week's charges, after the psychiatric assessment is completed.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador