Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fire News

Violent Pot Grower

Resident attacks Voice photographer after grow shed burns

Staff/Voice photos/REVISED


A violent resident, possibly on drugs, approaches then suddenly lunged and attacked.


irefighters responded to a call of a backyard shed fire in the 45000 block of Stirling Ave. in Sardis at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday. When crews arrived they found a fully-involved marijuana grow operation.


The resident noticed I was taking photos and attacked, repeatedly grabbing the cameras and trying to break them. He was shoving and threatening with his fists. So I took his photo. You bet I did. A few photos.


I've never gone out of my way to victimize someone who had a fire, or people who choose to grow marijuana, and didn't know this was a grow operation. I don't drive around with a scanner in my car. Nobody came running up to me there and said "Hey, this is a pot grow op". That is, until the resident decided to try and tackle me.


"You're not going to take pictures. This is a medical grow, I'm going to kick your ass," he said.


It was just rope-a-dope with him, but tricky trying to defend myself with a camera in each hand and out of reach of the attacker who was trying to take them from me.


This guy victimized himself.


I don't know if any particular house is a grow show, or care either. There's fire trucks in front of a home that had a fire. That was the story until he changed it.


We all understand that people involved in a fire are emotional at times. If they're drugged, then those feelings are heightened and the situation can spiral out of control very quickly.


The guy was whacked and should have been in a straight-jacket. I was wearing my clearly marked media vest. So I'm going to let our readers know if and when there is violence in the community. It's hard not to feel sorry for people who've lived their lives like that.


Some people like to think you're not allowed to take photos and they put on a big show about it. They yell and some attack. I had a security guard at Chilliwack General Hospital jumping up and down and waving his arms like a lunatic in front of my camera one day as I stood on the sidewalk. I lowered my camera and just looked at him.


"What are you doing?" I asked.


"I'm blocking you," he said.


It's not easy dealing with some folks. But I'm going to take more photos. Lot's more photos. National Geographic-quality ones too. I don't take a lot of bumble bees on flowers, however shots I take are around the world in everything from school books to reports and posters and websites. I'm also not going to live in fear of taking them and don't plan on doing a half-assed job anytime soon that's not how you get great photos.


If people want to censor themselves, then what does that say about the kind of society we live in?



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