A Newton man who says he liberated an abandoned pet rabbit from the mean streets of Clayton Heights on May 21 has been charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property.
Warren Brundage says he was called to the neighbourhood by “outraged” residents who wanted it rescued. He says he scooped “Beans” the rabbit up off the street about a block away from where its owners reside.
You might say the Surrey RCMP’s subsequent pursuit of Brundage has been relentless. Brundage was arrested by the Vancouver Police on a Surrey RCMP warrant on Nov. 17 after the VPD ran a routine check on his plates and the warrant popped up. He says he was handcuffed and put in the back seat of a squad car.
“The VPD officers wanted to simply serve me with the paperwork and appearance date and let me go but apparently the RCMP insisted I get taken in and booked,” Brundage told the Now-Leader. “They then delayed sending the paperwork to VPD to keep me in a cell as long as they could. I was told by multiple VPD officers and constables at the jail that I must have done something to really ‘piss-off’ the RCMP.
“The VPD officers were angry that their time was wasted and apologized to me multiple times for having to take me in,” Brundage said. “I read the notes on the police computer and the officers and others in the conversation agreed it was the most ridiculous charge they’ve seen.”
Const. Sarbjit Sangha, a spokeswoman the Surrey RCMP, said “it does take a little bit of time” for the detachment’s records department to fax paperwork to the arresting police. “Everybody’s busy, they are just doing their normal routine work that needs to be done; there’s no intention of keeping anybody longer than we need to,” she said Wednesday.
As for the Surrey RCMP’s investigation, Sangha said, “for some people their pets are like their children” and “it’s the sentimental value to that person that’s huge.”
Brundage’s first appearance at Surrey provincial court was on Nov. 22 and his next appearance has been set for Jan. 10.
“It’s really bizarre,” he said. “Surreal.”
“I haven’t spoken to one person about this who hasn’t told me ‘that’s ridiculous.’”
Brundage says he runs one of the largest animal sanctuaries in B.C.
As for Beans, he said, the bunny has two girlfriends.