Charges have been laid against a Hope couple involved in a BC Hydro dispute.
On Feb. 28 at about 1 p.m., Hope RCMP and the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment RCMP First Nations Police were called to assist BC Hydro in keeping the peace at a home in the 21900 block of Ross Road.
Police were advised that Dean Grykuliak, 46, and Ella Gutierrez, 48, were allegedly using an illegal meter that had been installed without authorization. After repeated threats of violence towards BC Hydro employees, a police escort to the home was requested in order to inspect the equipment and install an authorized BC Hydro meter.
Upon arrival, the couple refused to allow BC Hydro access to inspect their equipment. BC Hydro had safety concerns about the couple’s current meter setup as they allegedly removed their original meter and replaced it with an unauthorized meter from an abandoned house nearby. The couple was advised that if they didn’t allow the inspection, BC Hydro would be forced to cut power to the residence.
During the conversation, Grykuliak allegedly made indirect threats to officers and BC Hydro employees that if a new meter was installed people could lose their lives and police may have to kill him. Gutierrez became agitated during the incident and was arrested after allegedly threatening to hit and punch the Hope RCMP officer. While the officer was escorting her to his police car, she allegedly assaulted the Hope officer by kicking him.
During this time, Grykuliak went into the home and came out with two mason jars containing a blue clear liquid. He was holding an igniter that was rigged to the jars in one of his hands. The officers believed it was a home-made bomb and negotiated with Grykuliak. He eventually unarmed himself and was subsequently arrested.
“This is an example that shows there is never a routine call for a police officer,” said Staff Sgt. Suki Manj. “Two seasoned officers were faced with a life and death situation and were almost forced to use lethal force to protect themselves and the public. You never know what a person is willing to do over something that may seem trivial to others. In this case, we are glad we were able to resolve this situation without anyone been seriously injured.”
Grykuliak has been charged with possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and two counts of conveying a threat against the two officers. Gutierrez has been charged with assaulting a peace officer.
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) attended and determined the content of the mason jars was likely jet fuel which was triggered with a barbecue igniter. The suspected bomb was destroyed at the scene by EDU.