Charges laid in connection to standoff at restaurant

Justin Braden Hodge charged after alleged incident at Denny’s

A Kamloops man who allegedly barricaded himself inside Denny’s restaurant for 10 hours last week during a standoff with police is now facing multiple charges.

Justin Braden Hodge is facing charges of uttering threats, robbery, possession of a weapon for dangerous purposes, mischief and breach of probation according to online court documents.

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He is expected to appear in Kamloops provincial court on Monday for a bail hearing.

The Aug. 2 standoff began at about 4 a.m. when a customer allegedly threatened staff after receiving his bill. He is alleged to have told them he had a bomb and would blow up the restaurant.

According to police, employees and other customers all left the building, leaving the man alone in the restaurant at Columbia Street and Sixth Avenue.

The suspect allegedly closed all the blinds on the windows, and at one point is said to have exited one of the restaurant doors brandishing a knife only to re-enter the restaurant when confronted by police.

Dozens of police officers could be seen surrounding Denny’s at about 8:30 a.m. and police closed down Columbia Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues.

By noon, a police negotiator began attempting to contact the suspect as RCMP emergency response team members removed the back door and broke a window near the front entrance.

An officer on a loudspeaker could be heard telling the suspect to exit the back door with nothing in his hands and that police were not going to hurt him.

At about 1: 30 p.m., with no compliance from the suspect, police threw multiple rounds of tear gas into the building. The suspect remained in the restaurant.

By about 2:45 p.m., police entered through the back door and apprehended the suspect without incident. He appeared to be naked as he was being led out the back door and into a police vehicle. Police then swept the Denny’s for explosive devices.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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