Former foster parent charged with sexual assault
An Airdrie man has been charged with sexually assaulting a youth who was once in his care.
In August 2013, Calgary Police received information from a man who claimed he had been sexually abused while in a foster home.
It’s alleged that the offenses occurred between June 2003 and November 2008, in both Calgary and Airdrie.
On Sept. 30, investigators arrested 39-year-old Rodney James Marcyniuk. He has been charged with one count each of sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation by a person in trust or authority.
It is believed that 18 foster children, all boys, have lived under the care of Marcyniuk and his wife between 2001 and 2010.
The Calgary Police has not yet spoken with all 18 boys that lived at the home, however, the investigation is ongoing.
The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) responded to a report of a grass fire at Township Road 270 and Range Road 292 on Oct. 14, shortly after 2 p.m.
When crews arrived on scene, they found the fire in a large field of stubble and grass; light winds in the area at the time assisted in fanning the blaze as it moved southeast, consuming approximately four acres of the area.
Investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing
“A lot of grassfires at this time of year are typically caused by careless disposal of smokers materials (cigarettes),” said AFD Deputy Chief Garth Rabel.
Firefighters began initial attack on the fire with the department’s bush buggies, which are small, rapid response off-road trucks. The bush buggies were supported on the scene by the department’s large water tanker, which provided an on-site water supply.
No structures were threatened and the damage was limited to a line of fence and fence posts. Crews took approximately 30 minutes to bring the fire under control, but remained on scene late in to the afternoon to ensure that all hot spots had been extinguished.
“Because of where the fire was, no residences were ever directly threatened,” said Rabel.
No injuries were reported, a total of 14 firefighters were on scene.
Thefts from lockers
There have been more thefts from lockers at Genesis Place than usual recently, according to the facility’s manager Greg Lockert.
He explains that these thefts are, “crimes of opportunity,” and that in more than 60 per cent of the cases of thefts it’s a result of people not locking their lockers.
“I look at it this way, if I go to a football stadium and I get up to go to the washroom and leave my wallet sitting on the seat, will it be there when I get back?” said Lockert.
Lockert went on to explain that Airdrie’s growth and proximity to Calgary could be contributing factors.
“I’m not saying that local theft doesn’t happen, but often times in these instances it’s people who are looking for things that they can turn around and sell quickly, things like cell phones or watches,” said Lockert.
“If someone can come into Airdrie, pay $10 to use the facility and they can steal a few phones and make $700 they’re going to come back here again.”
Genesis Place is equipped with surveillance cameras, but not in the changing rooms. The facility does offer wallet lockers that are in the pool area at a cost of 25 cents, where valuables can be stored in plain sight.
When it comes to preventing theft, Lockert says purchasing a good-quality lock is an important step to take, but it comes down to common sense.
“The best course is to just leave valuables at home,” said Lockert.
“When you’re going to the gym you don’t need to bring much more than your running shoes, so your other items should be left either at home or in your car and out of sight.”
Car seats violations
Four members of the Airdrie RCMP Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) spent five hours on a child car seat inspection blitz on Oct. 12 on Dwight McLellan Trail. The inspection campaign resulted in 87 tickets being issued and several verbal warnings.
“Fewer than half of the vehicles that were pulled over left without tickets,” said Airdrie ITU Sheriff Jason Graw.
“It’s perplexing that these parents are not looking out for the safety of their children.”
Each month of the year, the RCMP select a violation of the Traffic Safety Act to crack down on; August was impaired driving and October is focused on occupant restraints.
“We find that there is a low level of compliance with these child safety seats,” said Graw. “We want to get the message out that we are out there and we’re looking at this issue.”
The most serious violations detected by the officers included:
•Children weighing less than 40 pounds who were not secured in child safety seats at all, or were in seats not appropriate for their weight.
•Children occupying child safety seats where the seats were not strapped in to the vehicle.
•Children that were not properly buckled into their child seats.
“All of these safety seats come with a manual that explains how it should properly be used,” said Graw. “Your car manual should also have a section that includes how these seats should be anchored in to the car.”
Drivers who were ticketed have a chance to have their fines lifted if they attend a two-hour information session at the Alberta Children’s Hospital where nurses will explain the correct use of child safety seats.
“We’re (RCMP) not out there to take people’s money,” said Graw. “This is about looking out for the safety of these children, seatbelts save lives, but only when they’re used correctly.”
If you have information on any unsolved crime, call Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.