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One arrested for mischief, obstruction after GraceLife Church fence pulled down last Sunday

Edmonton Journal logo Edmonton Journal 2021-04-19 Anna Junker
a sign on the side of a snow covered road: Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alta., was jailed after the church repeatedly defied government public gathering restrictions and face mask and social distancing regulations. © Provided by Edmonton Journal Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alta., was jailed after the church repeatedly defied government public gathering restrictions and face mask and social distancing regulations.
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One person has been arrested for mischief and obstruction outside GraceLife Church in Parkland County.

On Sunday at about 10 a.m., Parkland RCMP identified a person outside the church as someone who was involved with the mischief and obstruction to the fence erected around the perimeter of the property on April 11.

The church repeatedly violated COVID-19 health measures, holding services above capacity limits and not enforcing physical distancing. As a result, Alberta Health Services, with the help of RCMP, shuttered the building on April 7.

The following Sunday, on April 11, around 400 protesters gathered outside a church. At one point, attendees tore down sections of the fence. Police later replaced the fencing with some assistance from those gathered.

a group of people that are standing in the snow:  A few in attendance tried to rip down the fencing as police stand their ground while a crowd of about 400 gathered outside GraceLife Church on the first Sunday after the closure west of the Edmonton city limits, April 11, 2021. © Ed Kaiser A few in attendance tried to rip down the fencing as police stand their ground while a crowd of about 400 gathered outside GraceLife Church on the first Sunday after the closure west of the Edmonton city limits, April 11, 2021.

Police arrested the individual at the church without incident for mischief under $5,000 and obstruction. The person was released with conditions not to attend the GraceLife Church property and to appear on June 30 in Stony Plain provincial court.

No further information is available as charges have not been laid before the court.

“Investigation continues to identify and locate other individuals involved in criminal activities of April 11 outside GraceLife Church,” police said in a news release.

ajunker@postmedia.com

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