Vigilante or protective dad? Man charged after chasing tormentors

Chris Littlechild is pictured in front of his home in Cobourg, Ont., on Tuesday evening. (PETE...

Chris Littlechild is pictured in front of his home in Cobourg, Ont., on Tuesday evening. (PETE FISHER/QMI Agency)

Pete Fisher, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

COBOURG, Ont. — Did a Cobourg, Ont., man go too far when he chased fleeing suspects who tormented his family for weeks?

Police think so, and they've charged him with mischief and assault with a weapon.

Chris Littlechild, 41, said he was simply protecting his family when he gave chase to suspects who he said had been harassing his family for over a month by pounding on his front door and driving off honking almost every night in the wee hours. Recently, the pranksters had stepped up the frequency of their overnight visits, and even draped his doorknob in Silly String.

"The next time are they going to do something to my vehicles, are they going to start trying to break into my house? Where does it go from there?" Littlechild said.

After six weeks of the disturbances, and multiple calls to police, Littlechild said he'd had enough and decided to set up a stakeout.

When the pranksters pulled into his driveway just before 1 a.m. Monday, Littlechild got into his car and took off after them with a baseball bat — for his own protection, he said. But he also forgot his cellphone, which he later regretted.

He finally cornered one of the cars, and told them to get out.

"You're coming with me. We're going to the cop shop," he told them.

When they refused to budge, Littlechild admits he lost his temper: "I lose it. I take my bat. I hit the side mirror."

That's when the other cars returned. And the parents of the kids involved. Then the police, which was what he wanted in the first place.

Except it was Littlechild who was eventually placed into the back of the police cruiser, taken to the station, charged, photographed and fingerprinted before he was released two hours later.

One of the youths suspected to have taken part in the harassing Monday was later charged under a trespass offence under the Trespass to Property Act.

If the youth is convicted, it's a provincial offence — essentially like a speeding ticket. If Littlechild is convicted, he will have a criminal record.

"I think it's totally bogus," said Littlechild, who has never been involved with police.

"They are getting a slap on the wrist. I had to get these (suspects) into the hands of the police but if they're not going to charge them with anything then what's the point? My family has to live in fear."

Cobourg Police Sgt. Jeff Sheils said he understands the frustration, but “I don't approve of his methods."

"As a mature adult who has a family, I think he should have been more thoughtful in what action he took," Sheils said.

Especially being involved in an extended car chase, he said:

"A lot of people could have been hurt."

Littlechild disagrees.

"I don't consider myself a vigilante, but I will do anything to protect my family and make sure they are safe."

pete.fisher@sunmedia.ca


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