Calgary, AB,

Contaminated food in parks linked to mental health concerns

Thanks to assistance from the community, The Calgary Police Service has identified a senior citizen who was believed to have left tainted food out in parks located around the community of Evanston. Investigators believe the offender’s motivations were mental health related and are working with the offender’s family to connect them with the proper supports.

Since August 2019, police have confirmed at least seven cases of food being left in parks and greenspaces that had been contaminated with common household cleaners and automobile products.

The Service recognized the significant impact these incidents had on the community and assigned a team to investigate.

Following a tip from the public, investigators were able to identify a senior who was believed to be responsible. Police officers attended the suspect’s residence and spoke to family members, at which time they became aware of several mental health concerns that had recently been emerging.

After consultation with the Crown, it was determined that it was not in the public interest to lay charges, and instead to ensure the individual was connected with appropriate mental health supports. The Service has connected the offender and their family with Alberta Health Service’s Mobile Response Team to ensure they receive the necessary mental health supports.

Officers would like to extend a thank you to all community members for being engaged and bringing this issue to our attention. The Service would also to thank the Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Humane Society for their assistance.

For information on mental health supports, contact 2-1-1.