Meadowview man ordered to undergo fitness assessment following armed standoff

Kirk Starratt
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Tupper Road in North Kentville was the site of a standoff with police Dec. 1 and 2. - Jennifer Hoegg

A Meadowview man charged following a standoff with police has been ordered to undergo a fitness assessment.

Michael Ervin Sanford, 57, is charged with pointing an imitation firearm at a peace officer; carrying an imitation firearm in a careless manner, failing to comply with an undertaking, knowingly uttering a threat to kill police officers, carrying an imitation pistol for a purpose dangerous to the public peace and using an imitation pistol while attempting to commit the indictable offence of uttering threats.

The accused waived reading of the charges and waived election during a Dec. 3 appearance in Kentville Provincial Court. Judge Claudine MacDonald imposed a publication ban on representations made and the reasons given. The matters have been adjourned to Dec. 30 to allow time for an assessment to be conducted at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. The assessment is to determine whether or not the accused is fit to stand trial and whether the accused suffered from a mental disorder that would exempt him from criminal responsibility at the time of the alleged offences.

According to a news release from the RCMP, police received a call just after 3 p.m. on Dec. 1 about a man with a gun in a residence on Tupper Road. Kings RCMP spokesman Const. Blair MacMurtery said about 15 officers contained the area around the home and requested that nearby residents remain inside.

The man allegedly threatened to harm himself and others. An RCMP negotiator and the Emergency Response Team were brought in. At that point, Kings RCMP turned command over to the ERT.

Shortly after 5 a.m., emergency response team members entered the residence, deployed a conductive energy weapon and took the man into custody. He was transported to Valley Regional Hospital for examination. Police seized an imitation handgun and searched the residence. There was no one else in the house.

MacMurtery said the gun was a replica pistol but police could not tell from a distance that it wasn’t real.

Sanford is also charged with assaulting a member of the Kentville Police Service engaged in the execution of his duty. Sanford pled not guilty to this charge on Sept. 16. The matter had been adjourned to Jan. 21, 2014 for trial but, following Sanford’s court appearance on Dec. 3, the matter was adjourned to Dec. 30 for a possible application to revoke bail. This charge stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in Kentville on July 6, 2013.

Organizations: RCMP, East Coast Forensic Hospital, Valley Regional Hospital Kentville Police Service

Geographic location: Meadowview, Tupper Road, Kentville

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