Pincher Creek man pleads guilty to a number of charges relating to standoff last February

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
October 24, 2017 - 4:23pm

LETHBRIDGE - 53-year-old Dewey "Todd" Starzyk was given a jail sentence of 180 days in Pincher Creek today (Oct. 24) after pleading guilty to multiple charges in relation to a pair of incidents last February.

He admitted to charges of uttering threats, and breaching recognizance by possessing a firearm in connection to an armed standoff with the RCMP in Pincher Creek on Feb. 8. Starzyk also pleaded guilty to charges of careless use of a firearm and uttering threats for another incident that took place on Feb. 1.

However, due to time served in pre-trial custody Starzyk has been released from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre with conditions.

He must serve one year of probation, he cannot possess any firearms or knives for 10 years, and he can have no communication with the three women whose lives he threatened during the incident in question.

Charges of robbery with a firearm and careless use of a firearm were withdrawn.

On Feb. 8, the RCMP responded to a call of shots being fired at Pincher Creek home around 5 a.m.

After they arrived at the scene, the officers heard the front door open and saw a figure who they couldn't identify standing in front of them. The officers said they heard what sounded like a gun shot, which prompted them to retreat and call for backup.

On Tuesday (Oct. 24), the court heard that inside the home, before the officers arrived, Starzyk had got into a disagreement with the tenant who was living at his home. He was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol at the time, and it was revealed that Starzyk is an alcoholic.

During the argument, he demanded that the tenant get him cocaine and threatened her with a shotgun. Two women were also upstairs at the time, and Starzyk threatened both of their lives as well sometime afterwards.

The 911 call that the RCMP had received was from one of the women inside the home. She told police afterwards there actually hadn't been any shots fired, but due to the threats and the presence of a gun they felt concerned for their lives.

Once backup arrived, which came in the form of a negotiator, a number of armed officers, an armoured vehicle and a helicopter, police were finally able to take him into custody without incident.

Police found a double-barrel shotgun and shells inside as well, which the crown told the court were seized. Starzyk was under conditions at the time that he have no weapons in his possession, and police had taken a number of them from his home before the incident last February.

The judge presiding over the sentencing said that Starzyk must also abstain from the use of any drugs or alcohol during his probation, because that was what caused all of the problems here.

He also recommended anger management be the focus of counselling sessions that Starzyk must attend.

In response to those parts of the negotiated joint proposal, Starzyk via CCTV said he believes he can handle that, and that he was planning to take treatment anyways.

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