Yarmouth Justice Centre.Tina Comeau photo
By Tina Comeau
A 49-year-old man arrested near the Atlantic Superstore and NSLC on April 26 carrying a loaded rifle – alleged to have been stolen – has been charged with nine Criminal Code offences that includes weapons, threats and theft charges.
Stacey Eugene Beals, whom court documents refer to as having no fixed address, appeared briefly in court on Monday, April 28. He is due back in court on Thursday, May 1, for a possible bail/showcause hearing. Lawyer David Curry, who spoke on Beals’ behalf in court on Monday, said more time was required to prepare a bail package. He also requested video footage shot from the NSLC location off Starrs Road.
Beals consented to remain in custody until his next court appearance.
On Saturday, April 26, shortly after noon, several RCMP members were dispatched after receiving reports of a man carrying a rifle near the Atlantic Superstore in Yarmouth. Both the Superstore and the adjoining NSLC were put in lockdown until the RCMP located the suspect.
In a media release issued that day, the RCMP said Beals appeared to be intoxicated when he was arrested.
The rifle is identified in court documents as being a black Mossberg International 22 calibre bolt-action rifle. Beals is accused of having stolen the rifle from a Herbert Street residence during a break-in.
The weapons charges Beals is facing include possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, careless use of a firearm, possession of a weapon and unauthorized possession of a firearm.
He is also charged with pointing a firearm at Constable Gary Bartlett and he is charged with threatening to cause death to the officer. The charge before the court alleges that Beals threatened to shoot the RCMP member and/or shoot at him through his police cruiser.
Beals is also charged with threatening to shoot RCMP Constable Jonathan Cook.
Beals is also facing charges of theft, of possession of property obtained by crime and of break, enter and theft.
There was no discussion in court on Monday about the April 26 incident.
Shortly after Beals’ arrest on April 26, RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Alain LeBlanc had told the Vanguard, “Thankfully nobody was hurt, but when you're carrying a rifle in the town and police respond, there is the potential for someone getting hurt.” He also said the RCMP must always presume in any case where a firearm is involved that the weapon is loaded, which further heightens the seriousness of the situation.