British Columbia

B.C. man with violent history released from custody two days before allegedly assaulting children

A mother is 'livid and outraged' a man with a history of violence was released from custody just two days before allegedly assaulting her son and another boy in a park in the Okanagan community of Kaleden, B.C.

Bryan James Lamb is facing two counts of assault, plus charges of mischief and assault with a weapon

RCMP say Bryan James Lamb is again in custody after he was arrested on Sept. 15 for allegedly breaching several court orders. (CBC)

A B.C. mother is 'livid and outraged' that a man with a history of violence was released from custody just two days before allegedly assaulting her son and another boy at a park in the Okanagan community of Kaleden, B.C., 15 minutes south of Penticton.

CBC News is not naming the mother in order to protect the identity of her 10-year-old son, who she fears has been traumatized by the incident.

She has written a letter to B.C.'s attorney general demanding an explanation as to why the provincial court has repeatedly released the man from custody.

The mother told CBC News she was not in the park on Aug. 25 when the alleged attack on her son occurred but she said parents of other children were there and described it to her.

"Out of nowhere a man approached [the children] and said to my son, 'Don't say that. If that man in the wheelchair hears you, he will break your neck,'" said the mother.

"And then he proceeded to grab my son by the throat and smack him across the face."

There was no person in a wheelchair in the park at the time, according to the parents the woman spoke to.

The man then allegedly grabbed a four-year-old boy by the neck before parents jumped in and scared him off, the woman said.

According to the RCMP, the man was being restrained by an off-duty RCMP officer and a bystander when police arrived and arrested him.

'Repeat offender' with multiple recent criminal charges

Bryan James Lamb, 50, is facing two counts of assault in relation to the incident.

In an emailed statement, the RCMP described Lamb as a "repeat offender" and said in the week prior to the park incident he allegedly struck another individual with a baseball bat and, five days later, caused a disturbance on a Penticton street where he allegedly held up traffic, threw items, screamed at and tried to pick fights with strangers, and allegedly spat at an RCMP officer and resisted arrest.

On Aug. 23, Lamb was arrested and charged with one count of assault with a weapon and one count of mischief.

The mother says what infuriates her is that two days later Lamb was out of custody on bail and in Kaleden, where he allegedly assaulted her son and the other child.

'What is our criminal justice system doing?'

"Frankly, I'm livid. I'm outraged that there was any sort of opportunity for this to happen," she said.

"I mean, what is our criminal justice system doing? What is happening right now?"

Lamb was again released from custody, this time on Sept. 10, according to the RCMP statement.

Five days later RCMP officers re-arrested him in Penticton after Lamb allegedly breached several of his release conditions. He remains in custody awaiting a court date at the end of September.

The mother has written a letter to B.C. Attorney General David Eby, questioning why the provincial court continues to release Lamb, despite his violent criminal history.

"This system is not working," the letter reads. "Not when a man with dozens of criminal code violations since 2018 has the right to be free in the streets and my child can't safely play in a park with his friends."

A spokesperson with the office of the B.C. Attorney General said they would not comment on the matter while it is before the courts.


Brady Strachan

CBC Reporter

Brady Strachan is a CBC reporter based in Kelowna, B.C. Besides Kelowna, Strachan has covered stories for CBC News in Winnipeg, Brandon, Vancouver and internationally. Follow his tweets @BradyStrachan

With files from CBC Radio West