Talk about getting off easy. The guys successfully drove drunk through two national parks, chased a young grizzly into the bush, then had to get then had to get evicted from the hot springs and their truck impounded. Then he’s a repeat no-show for his court date.
Devin Mitsuing, 35, got out of his truck and started screaming at a young grizzly bear cub while standing in a “boxing stance” before charging at it, according to an eyewitness.
A couple of nearby photographers got it all on camera and called Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) after the incident. Mitsuing was located the following day in Radium, B.C. by RCMP and a Park Warden and charegd under the National Parks Act, for disturbing wildlife in a national park.
Judge George Gaschler found the man guilty and imposed a $4,000 fine. It was in court that all the cringe-inducing details came out:
“We were on the other side of the highway when a truck pulled up and two gentlemen got out, started yelling at the bear and throwing rocks … then he took off his shirt and got in a boxing stance,” O’Neill explained.RMOToday
O’Neil watched Mitsuing, drunk, shirtless, yell and taunt the bear cub for 10 minutes before charging towards the bear, scaring it back into the woods.
Federal Crown prosecutor Jeremy Newton said Mitsuing was incredibly lucky he was not maimed or killed in the incident and noted that grizzly bears are a protected species.
Judge Gaschler said it was obvious this was disturbance of a grizzly bear and agreed to the Crown’s recommendation of a $4,000 fine, with the monies going toward the Environmental Damages Fund.
“What is the next step? He isn’t here,” Judge Gaschler asked after the ruling.
It was decided Mitsuing would have until Oct. 16 to pay the fine, or face 33 days in jail.
Mitsuing did return to the courthouse an hour after the trial concluded and turned himself into Canmore RCMP.
“I think the judge said it best, when an individual creates this kind of dangerous situation with a bear, when they charge at him, when they throw rocks at him when they cause him to run into the bush, you are going to create an aggressive animal that obviously has the ability to do a lot of harm to humans and the public in general,” Newton said after the trial.
“Mr. Mitsuing wasn’t just putting himself in danger, he putting every other person who comes across this bear in danger in the future, so a large fine is a strong message to other individuals who, for whatever reason, would think to engage in this kind of behaviour you would hope they wouldn’t but it should be even more obvious now.”
A proper punishment would be scheduling a cage match between Mitsuing and the grizzly bear in four years when the cub is fully grown. I’d pay to watch that.