Charges laid after suspicious exchange with child

Fernie man released on bail after impersonating a police officer during an interaction with a young child.

A 42-year-old Fernie man has been released on bail with a number of conditions stemming from his arrest at a Cranbrook park that involved a young boy.

McDowell, who has been charged with unlawful confinement or imprisonment and impersonating a peace officer, was taken into custody after a suspicious interaction in a Rotary Park change room with a young boy on Tuesday,  July 21, 2015.

McDowell appeared in Cranbrook Provincial Court in front of Judge Grant Sheard on Thursday, July 23, 2015 and posted a $500 bail.

According to an RCMP release, McDowell is alleged to have made comments to the child saying that he was a police officer, however, the boy was able to run by him and get to his father outside.

Police immediately located McDowell and took him into custody and are satisfied that he was acting alone and that there is no safety concerns for the public.

Under McDowell’s bail conditions, he must stay in Fernie and within the province, along with other restrictions such as no contact with the young boy involved or any youth under 16 or be in public places used by children such as a park or playground.

McDowell will be back in the Cranbrook Law Courts on August 31, 2015.