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Man who attacked Keremeos village staff found not criminally responsible

Cameron Urquhart has been in a psychiatric facility since his arrest
Keremeos man Cameron Urquhart has been found not criminally responsible for his actions when he attacked staff at the Keremeos village offices on Jan. 24. (Facebook)

The man accused of attacking Village of Keremeos staff has been found not criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder.

Cameron Urquhart will remain at a psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam until the B.C. Review Board makes a further decision on his case.

Urquhart was facing 14 criminal charges related to the Jan. 24 attack. But on Friday, Aug. 19, a Penticton provincial judge ruled that the Keremeos man was not criminally responsible.

On Jan. 24, Urquhart stormed into the Village offices wearing metal cleats and sport protective gear with a knife strapped to his chest, threatening staff with a sledgehammer, assaulting them inside the office and damaging property before chasing them outside where some were further assaulted.

According to the statement of facts entered into the court record, police were called to the Keremeos municipal offices by a witness who reported Urquhart, brandishing a sledgehammer and throwing someone on the ground.

The witness stayed on the line to provide updates while Urquhart returned inside to smash various items, including the security glass at the main counter, chasing people out of the office where he then pushed one woman onto the ground and kicked her. Another woman was punched in the face.

He was making statements for staff to get out and that the mayor was fired.

Urquhart continued to chase the other people as they fled to their vehicles. A second person also called RCMP, reporting that Urquhart was letting air out from the tires of several vehicles, as well as shouting various comments that were heard in the background of the call.

In addition to the sledgehammer, which Urquhart broke the head of during his attack, Urquhart had also worn metal cleats which left cuts on one of his victims.

One of the victims who fled was punched in the back, causing them to slip on ice outside, and giving Urquhart an opening to approach and kick them repeatedly. Thanks to others distracting Urquhart, they were able to get away and into a vehicle driven by a woman passing by.

A report completed in May found that Urquhart was not fit to stand trial.

A publication ban was put in place on the details of the psychiatric report that was completed in July and entered as part of the not criminally responsible hearing.

READ MORE: Publication ban placed on criminal responsibility hearing for alleged Keremeos attacker

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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