Man at centre of massive raid on rural Calgary property lashes out at police
Fredrick Brokop tours media around property he leases and says there was no need for heavy response
The man at the centre of a raid that ended with the seizure of 40 animals and several firearms is defending himself and lashing out at Calgary police for the response, and for the way the situation was portrayed in the media.
"Why didn't you just come in here if you had a problem? Just come in here if you had a problem, just talk to me," Fredrick Brokop said Thursday as he toured media around the property he leases.
"They come in here, they act like we killed somebody."
Brokop faces 15 weapons-related charges and one count of breaching a court order, police said Wednesday. Several animal-related charges thought to be pending.
The charges come after tactical teams, humane society investigators, the Calgary Fire Department, EMS and Alberta Fish and Wildlife converged on the sprawling property on the southwestern outskirts of Calgary on Tuesday.
'Maybe he lives in a mansion'
Staff Sgt. Guy Baker said that in his 31 years as an officer he had never seen "such a disgusting and dirty environment to live as humans and also to raise animals."
Brokop was visibly angry about the statement.
"Maybe he lives in a mansion. Maybe he walks in and takes his boots off every time, but I can't afford to. I just run into my house with muddy boots sometimes and there's mud in my kitchen and then I have to clean it up a week later," he said.
"If he sees dishes in the sink, oh my god, what a mess. Maybe he has three maids cleaning up his house all the time. I don't, I can't afford it. Maybe he's on an officer's salary where he can afford that, and if they can bring 50 units in here, maybe they pay him too much."
Brokop would not let media inside the two homes and a trailer that were condemned by officials, saying it was to protect the privacy of tenants. He and another resident said eight people lived on the property, not the 15 cited by police.
He said the characterization of the property as a mini-town with people living in shanties was not accurate.
"Do you see a mini-town? I see a house there and a house over there. That doesn't look like a town to me," said Brokop, motioning around the rural property littered with abandoned vehicles and the detritus of ranch life.
No shanties were seen.
"I'm surprised you guys put that on. Smeared my name like crazy without having any proof of anything," Brokop said Thursday in reference to media coverage.
Inside one of the houses on the property, a tenant who did not want to be identified said the characterization of the property wasn't accurate.
"To say that it's as disgusting and as awful as they portray it, from their opinion, that's not my experience," he said.
"That being said, I haven't been in all the residences here but where I stay, I'd say, is more than acceptable living quarters."
The home where he lived was clean when media toured it on Thursday.
The man's dog was seized in the raid, along with several other dogs, some cats, a lizard and about 11 quails, according to Brokop. He insists the animals were in good health and should not have been taken.
Llamas were roaming around the property and cows were in an enclosure.
In January and February 2017, Brokop pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, which resulted in fines and a 10-year animal prohibition, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.
Documents showed he had allowed a horse and several ducks to be in distress.
But because Brokop's livelihood depended on boarding horses, he was allowed to keep them on the property as long as he wasn't the one taking care of them.
Brokop said he wasn't aware there was a condition that he couldn't live in the same house as an animal.
Of the guns that were seized, Brokop says there was no reason they should have been seized, and that he was simply looking at those that were not secure at the time because he had just purchased them the night before.
"We've had some defamation of character going on. On TV," said Brokop.
"They just threw everything on the TV and spread my name out there in a real bad way. So, what do you do with that? How would you feel?"
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Nenshi says Calgary could look to Seattle, New York for arena solutions
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Stolen truck driven 'dangerously at excessive speeds' nets 80 charges