Abbotsford boy speaks up against alleged gang leaders
A Grade 6 student in Abbotsford, B.C., says living down the street from the notorious Bacon brothers is creepy and scary.
Kenton O'Donnell, 11, gave a speech to fellow schoolmates at Clayburn Middle School earlier this month. He decided to share his story because gun violence is hitting too close to home.
"I wanted to let people know… how people on our street would probably be feeling. Like kids, how they are feeling," he told CBC News on Monday in an interview in the presence of his father, Chris.
The Bacon brothers "have done some horrible things but tried to stay clear of trouble. It is a bit scary, but sometimes it is not that bad," Kenton said.
In the past eight years, the O'Donnell family has tried to live their lives as normally and hasn't talked much about gang activity, Chris O'Donnell said.
Police have alleged the three Bacon brothers are gang leaders who are at the centre of a bloody turf war over the illegal drug trade in Metro Vancouver that has resulted in dozens of shootings and at least 16 fatalities since January.
Jonathan Bacon and his two brothers, Jamie and Jarrod, all have criminal proceedings pending against them.
Jonathan, 27, was granted bail earlier this month after being arrested on fraud charges. His bail conditions include 24-hour surveillance by police and a daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
He is now living in Port Moody while Jamie and Jarrod are living with their parents on the 35000 block of Strathcona Court, a few houses from the O'Donnells.
Three police surveillance cameras have been set up to capture everyone entering or leaving the Bacon house. An RCMP cruiser is parked across from the house every day.
Kenton said he got a strange feeling whenever he walked by the surveillance cameras, although his father had told him the police presence was aimed at protecting the neighbourhood.
"Kids don't come outside as much as they used to. Neither do I," Kenton said.
"Imagine if the shootings that just happened were at my house when I'm walking home," he said of the recent escalating gun violence in Metro Vancouver.
Jarrod Bacon, 25, and Jamie Bacon, 22, were arrested in May on weapons charges. They each face nine counts of firearms-related offences and are jointly charged with 15 additional firearms infractions.
In the same month, B.C.'s Integrated Gang Task Force issued a public warning that the brothers were the targets of death threats and that association with them might place individuals "in a position of jeopardy."
Last June, Jonathan Bacon was hit with 15 drug and weapons charges related to a stash of drugs, guns and money police said they found in his Abbotsford home in 2005. But provincial court Judge Donald Gardiner threw out all 15 counts against Bacon and two co-accused, ruling police did not have the grounds to obtain a search warrant when they made the drug bust.
In January of last year, Jamie Bacon was shot at while driving his armoured Mercedes during the day on a busy Abbotsford street. He was reportedly wearing body armour at the time and escaped injury.
- Jonathan Bacon is living in Port Moody, not Abbotsford as was originally reported.Mar 20, 2009 8:35 AM PT