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1 person arrested and charged outside GraceLife Church

Parkland RCMP said one of the individuals who attempted to pull down a temporary fence surrounding GraceLife Church on April 11 was arrested and charged Sunday.

RCMP said officers saw a person outside GraceLife Sunday morning and recognized the individual as one of those involved in last week’s incident.

READ MORE: Crowd gathers outside GraceLife Church west of Edmonton Sunday to protest closure

The person was arrested and charged for mischief under $5,000 and obstruction, police said. The individual was released with conditions not to attend GraceLife Church property and to make a court appearance June 30 in Stony Plain Provincial Court, according to RCMP.

“Investigation continues to identify and locate other individuals involved in criminal activities of April 11, 2021 outside GraceLife Church,” a Parkland RCMP release read.

READ MORE: Fencing goes up around GraceLife Church west of Edmonton as AHS ‘physically closes’ facility

On April 7, a fence was put up around GraceLife at the direction of Alberta Health Services after the church failed to comply with the province’s COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic.

On April 11, hundreds of people gathered outside the church to protest its closure. During the protest, Global News video captured a group of people pulling down a section of the fence as RCMP officers stood on the other side and other protesters attempted to put it back up and reprimanded the individuals.

Click to play video: Crowd gathers outside GraceLife Church west of Edmonton Sunday to protest closure

AHS said it will prevent access to the church until people “demonstrate the ability to comply” with restrictions.

“GraceLife Church has decided not to follow these mandatory restrictions, nor have they attempted to work with AHS to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” AHS said on April 7.

GraceLife Pastor James Coates spent a month in jail for violating a bail condition not to hold services that ignored public health measures on capacity limits, physical distancing and masking. He was released March 22, 2021, after pleading guilty and was fined $1,500.

Anyone wanting to report information about the events of April 11 at GraceLife is asked to contact Parkland RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

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