Ian McIlwaine of Squamish, B.C., said his family is "shaken and very upset" after RCMP, responding to a complaint by neighbours, visited the family's home because his four-year-old son was playing in the yard naked.
On Sunday, April 19, McIlwaine took advantage of the warm weather to wax his car outside his home, with his two sons, Tyler, and Conner, 6, playing nearby.
"First hot day of spring, and they're itching to get outside after a long Canadian winter and first thing they want to do is have a water fight," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.
Tyler got his pants wet and McIlwaine told him to put on some shorts. Instead, the boy emerged from the house naked.
"It was all what seemed to be harmless innocence. I felt like at four years old, he's still pure, he's still innocent," said McIlwaine.
Police apologize for kids' fears
Mcllwaine said he didn't hear anything from neighbours at the time. A few days later, he was in Kelowna, B.C., on business and his wife, Margita, called him in tears.
The police were at the house for more than half an hour, telling her that there could be "further action" if the child is found outdoors naked again.
Mcllwaine returned early from his trip and went to the detachment the next day. He was told police had to respond to the call because it involved a child.
"The disturbing part of it was ... I had [previously had] a break-in in the middle of the day, with my wife and children inside the house eating lunch, and the RCMP had never even bothered to come — they said that they didn't have resources," he said.
McIlwaine said his older son is now afraid of the police — fearing he and his brother could be taken away from their parents.
The Squamish RCMP declined an interview, but provided a written statement from Staff Sgt. Brian Cumming.
"I have spoken to Mrs. and Mr. McIlwaine, explained that we responded to a complaint from another citizen about their son being out on the street with no clothes on a few days earlier," it reads.
"They did not feel this was handled well by the officers responding despite my explanations, and I offered an apology for the fact that they were not happy and felt their son was now afraid of the police."