City police continue to investigate reports of people trespassing and causing damage to businesses on Lakeshore Drive on Saturday.
The North Bay Police Service (NBPS) says about 30 people who attended a Freedom Rally at Lee Park then made their way to the North Bay Mall.
“It was alleged that individuals caused some damage to washrooms in the businesses and refused to follow COVID-19 safety regulations, which included requests from staff to wear masks while indoors, and that they were accosting customers in the business,” says David Woolley, NBPS Corporate Communications Officer. “When they were asked to leave the premises it’s alleged that the individuals caused a further disturbance in the business and some people allegedly stole items as they were leaving.”
Upon arrival, police removed the people from the property with about 15 protesting outside the business.
NBPS says they remained on the scene to ensure public safety and to prevent protesters from re-entering the premises.
“This is certainly the first time that we’ve seen something like this. Normally [protesters] stay down by the waterfront where they’ve taken place or in other areas where they’ve occurred. This is the first time we’ve seen individuals entering a business and trespassing in this way,” Woolley says.
No charges were filed at the time, but police say security footage has been obtained by the police.