WHITEHORSE — A Conservative federal election candidate in Yukon donned camouflage gear and hid in the bush on a dark, rainy night to catch someone vandalizing his campaign signs.
"Two males came out of the bushes at me — one was dressed in camouflage; the other was pretty much dressed in black," Carrie Boles, who admits she was cutting Conservative candidate Ryan Leef's name out of his campaign signs, said Thursday.
"He was right up in my face at one point and I said, 'Mr. Leef? Is that you?"'
Boles outlined the events of Aug. 27 in a letter to the Yukon News in Whitehorse and then repeated them to The Canadian Press.
Leef's campaign did not immediately return calls from the news agency, but Yukon News editor John Thompson said Leef's spokesman described Boles's version as "reasonably accurate."
It began Aug. 26 when Boles came home from work one evening and decided she'd had enough of the half-dozen or so Conservative campaign signs along the section of the Alaska Highway that leads to her home.
"I just hate these gaudy signs," she said. "I decided, 'I'm going to do something foolish and immature."'
She cut a square out of the middle of the signs and left the scraps in a neat pile under a sandbag by the side of the road.
It was the talk of the town the next day in Whitehorse. Boles laughed to herself, then returned home only to find the signs had all been replaced.
"So I'm like, 'If they're putting that much effort in, I'm going to go out another night. I'm going to be the trickster."'
So out she went, at 11 p.m., in a heavy rain.
"I'm moving on to the fourth sign and I hear something moving. I'm thinking a moose. I'm thinking a bear."
But it was two Conservatives who burst from the bush yelling "Citizen's arrest!"
Boles said Leef — an RCMP veteran and mixed martial arts competitor — grabbed her elbow, twisted her left arm behind her back and drove her to her knees. Her hands were cuffed behind her back.
Neither man identified himself. Boles didn't know it was Leef until she recognized his voice.
"I was relieved. It's Mr. Leef. I'm OK."
While the second man called RCMP, Leef struck up a conversation with Boles, talking about his campaign and his background.
"Mr. Leef was very professional," said Boles. "He told me I should put my energy into working on a political campaign."
Eventually, Boles was able to return home. As of yet, she is not facing any charges.
She admits, "My act wasn't brilliant to begin with."
But she felt Leef's response was excessive.
"Did I cross the line? I don't think I did.
"I like alternative forms of protest and I don't want the reins on that type of protest to be squeezed that tightly. That was a really tight squeeze."
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