Three belligerent patrons at Port Moody restaurant fined for COVID-19 violations

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      After enforcement of COVID-19-related provincial health orders came into effect in August, several stories have arisen about people disobeying health measures or behaving badly during the pandemic.

      Among them was a party host in Victoria who held gatherings on two consecutive nights, over 1,000 Canucks fans congregating in Surrey, a house party in West Vancouver shut down for having over 200 guests, and two parties at a Burnaby rental suite on two consecutive nights held by different hosts.

      The latest incident comes from Port Moody.

      The Port Moody Police Department (PMPD) stated today (September 22) that around 10 p.m. on September 19, staff at a local eatery called police to report “erratic and belligerent behaviour of three unwanted patrons” at the restaurant.

      According the PMPD, three males had been causing a disruption, upsetting other diners as well as staff.

      The trio in question refused to follow COVID-19 health precautions, including refusing to sit down; yelled at staff; played with a pocket knife; and entering a staff-only area.

      In addition, they vomited on their table and spat on it when they had been asked to leave.

      Officers issued several COVID-19 violation tickets for a total of almost $700 in fines, and the three individuals were removed from the premises.

      When B.C. Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced on August that he was authorizing officers to issue fines to individuals for gatherings and events breaking provincial health orders, he explained that the enforcement also was meant to protect employees at establishments from being bullied or abused by customers, often in attempts to pressure staff to bend the rules to accomodate them.

      “Don’t yell at the waiter who asks you not to push your tables together at a restaurant," Farnworth had said. "Don’t be belligerent towards the hardworking people who are trying to keep us all safe.”

      Then on September 20, Farnworth authorized officers to ticket owners, operators, event organizers, and patrons of nightlife venues, banquet halls, and food and beverage establishments who aren’t following provincial health orders during the pandemic.

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