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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Teen charged after BB gun seized at Stampede
Crowds flocked to the front gates of the Stampede around 4:30 p.m. in hopes of seeing some action. JULIA SACCO
The Stampede was on lockdown for around 15 minutes after the replica gun was found, resulting in lineups to enter when doors reopened. JULIA SACCO
Kronos Security stopped crowds from overflowing the front gates. JULIA SACCO
Dhruv Sharma and Yatin Sant checked bags at the front entrance on Saturday. Kronos Protection was part of an increase in security at this year's Stampede. JULIA SACCO

Thanks to heightened security measures at the Virgil Stampede this year, organizers were able to prevent a teenager from bringing a firearm into the carnival.

Niagara Regional Police said an 18-year-old from St. Catharines was going through the security checkpoint at about 4:30 on Monday afternoon when a replica handgun was found during a search of his bag.

The firearm turned out to be a replica of a Glock pistol, with a magazine containing BB ammunition.

“Security attempted to remove the firearm from the male, which initiated a struggle,” police said in an email.

Security officers seized the gun, but the teenager ran off. He was arrested nearby.

Cameron Newbold was charged with failing to comply with a release order.

The carnival was packed when the incident occurred and some of the crowd started running toward where the security guards were headed.

“The problem is that once the kids see security running it becomes a mob mentality. You get a few kids running and then they all start running to see what it is,” one Stampede volunteer told The Lake Report.

The altercation ended quickly, he said.

The Virgil Business Association organizes the Stampede and president Richard Wall said Kronos Security, the company hired to handle security, did a “phenomenal job.”

“There were a few instances and issues, but they were on top of it immediately,” he said.

Wendy Kulp volunteered at the front entrance of the Stampede and, even before the replica gun was found, she said that all weekend long, security was quick to shut down any potential problems.

“They’re catching little things that could go big,” Kulp said. “They’re pre-emptive.”

Martin Mazza, a volunteer and member of the Virgil Business Association, urged NOTLers to understand just how good a job the security staff did.

And he said that the spreading of rumours regarding violence at the Stampede was “unfortunate.”

“The VBA gets slammed for not doing enough to help, but we’re trying our best,” he said.

“We’re a volunteer-based organization so we have to spend hard-earned money to pay for that security. It’s kind of disheartening,” Mazza added.

In a separate incident, about 6:40 p.m. Monday, two police officers responded to a call about someone swearing, yelling and making threatening comments to security staff.

Elissa V. Deleon, 34, of St. Catharines, was charged with causing a disturbance, police said.


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