Alana Kelly

Man charged after yelling sexual obscenities at B.C. reporter

Bo Poirier is charged with causing a disturbance after yelling the phrase ‘FHRITP’

She watched it happen to Shauna Hunt and dozens of other female reporters, but she didn’t think sexually explicit vulgarities would be hurled at her while on the job.

Last summer, Kelowna reporter Alanna Kelly was interviewing an athlete about the cancelled Apple Triathlon, she had her camera set up and the athlete’s family near by when she was confronted by a man who yelled notorious sexual slur “FHRITP”.

At first she was shocked, embarrassed and uncertain of what she should do, but after talking it over with her colleagues she reported the incident to the police.

“I won’t forget when he said it and everyone around us gasped,” she explained. “I saw the guy coming and I thought, ‘don’t say it, don’t say it’, and I moved my mic away but he yelled and got in my camera.

I couldn’t show that I was angry because I was in the middle of the interview, so I just shrugged it off and tried to be professional.”

READ MORE: Female Brazilian sports journalists’ plea: Just let us work

Kelly gave her statement and police determined because the incident happened in a public place the man would be charged with causing a disturbance.

“It’s not a harassment charge, which would be better,” she said. “I know it’s a complex thing and I am just happy something is being done. I don’t want to vilify this person, but this is a chance to show what will happen if you think this is funny or this is just a joke and you can get away with it. Police are at least making an example of this and showing that they are doing something.”

Bo Poirier was charged on Oct. 2; however officers were unable to find the man who had no fixed address.

Poirier is known to police and often frequents Penticton and Kelowna.

When Poirier is finally arrested and given a court date, Kelly says she will attend the appearance.

“Some people think because I am a reporter and in the public that this is what happens, but just because I am a reporter does not mean I should be sexually harassed,” said Kelly. “What is going on that makes people think that this is funny, now you’ve not only ruined my story but you think you can say these disgusting and vulgar comments to a female — it should not be accepted.”

READ MORE: Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Kelly who has been working with Castanet media for two years, says she is lucky she has had some great female role models in her life that have helped her cope with this situation, but she still looks over her shoulder when she is out on a shoot.

“I think not talking about it, isn’t going to fix this,” she said. “So maybe if someone hears this they’ll know I have feelings, I am not a robot, and this hurt me, it humiliated me and maybe they will think twice or if they know someone who thinks it’s funny that they’ll tell them it’s not.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Police officer recounts wild car chase through downtown Ladysmith and Duncan

B.C. Supreme Court trial of Armaan Singh Chandi hears of pursuit following Nanaimo drive-by shooting

Ladysmith a stride closer to fitness trail

Work could get underway on initial groundwork this spring

Small external fire extinguished quickly at Catalyst’s Crofton pulp mill

Fire department called Monday afternoon as part of protocol, but services not needed

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Former junior Cowichan Piggy Doug Fraser joins professional ranks

Fraser grew up in Ladysmith and played junior and senior rugby with Cowichan

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Prolific offender arrested in “dynamic takedown” in Crofton

A 30-year-old Vancouver-area man faces at least six charges after what police… Continue reading

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Most Read