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West Van 'Hoedown' tussle with law officers lassoos 12 months probation

A West Vancouver man became violent after a traffic stop near a western-themed family event, said West Vancouver Police
Provincial Court Of British Columbia in North Vancouver.| photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

A throwdown with police during the Dundarave Hoedown has resulted in 12 months’ probation for a 29-year-old West Vancouver man who decided to fight the law during the community event in August 2023.

Samuel Brent Hersey received a suspended sentence and probation after tangling with local police officers in what West Vancouver Police described as a “violent” incident on Aug. 25, 2023. He was quickly corralled by officers, however.

That evening, the Ambleside Dundarave Business Improvement Association was hosting a western-themed family event including a dance, barbecue and beer garden, when two police officers conducting public safety patrols stopped a vehicle being driven by Hersey near the intersection of Marine Drive and 24th Street.

Officers stopped the vehicle based on observations of driving behaviour, according to police, adding it was not connected to Hoedown events.

At that point Hersey “became violent,” according to police, leading to his arrest and four criminal charges including making threats, dangerous operation of a conveyance, refusal to provide a breath sample and assault of a police officer causing bodily harm.

One of the officers injured in the incident has not yet returned to full duties, according to police.

On Jan. 24 Hersey pleaded guilty in North Vancouver provincial court to a lesser charge of assaulting a police officer. The other charges were dropped.

Sgt. Chris Bigland, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police Department, said officers work hard to ensure safety of the public during community events. “The assault of officers going about their duties, and the risk that presents to the surrounding public, is something we take very seriously.”