RCMP Statement re. Barbed Wire Claimant
We reported earlier that Alberta RCMP had issued a warrant for the arrest of the Calgary resident who claimed to have been injured by barbed wire strung across a mountain bike trail at the popular Bragg Creek riding area.
Alberta RCMP spoke to the media about the evidence they have discovered and reported that Mr. Psaroudakis turned himself in to the Cochrane detachment at 3:00 pm Friday. They have determined he was riding an ATV when he was injured. Inspector Lauren Weare spoke to media today and was forthright about the evidence they had compiled:
Our investigation has concluded that Mr. Psaroudakis was riding an all-terrain vehicle and was involved in an incident at another location at another time, and was not riding a bicycle. Our information has taken us to the actual scene with the ATV he was riding at the time of the incident.
Inspector Weare went on to say that his injuries were genuine but not sustained in the manner he claimed. While he did strike a fence it was not the result of sabotage, it was simply a fence used to contain livestock that Mr. Psaroudakis struck after losing control on a friend's three wheeled ATV. He told Global News that it all started with a white lie devised to protect his friend;
“It started from a little white lie, because I didn’t want to get my friend involved in trouble, because he had no insurance, no registration, no nothing on this, so it’s illegal to be driving this.”
Inspector Weare also praised the mountain bike community; "There was a tremendous amount of support from the community, the biking community in particular provided a tremendous amount of information with respect to that particular bike trail where the incident was reported to have occurred." The takeaway from this is clearly that you shouldn't mess with mountain bikers.
Despite his arrest and the charges against him, Mr. Psadourakis doesn't seem to think he has done anything wrong. Rather he feels that he is the victim in this situation;
“It’s just one white lie turned into another and now I’m the one getting charged and I’m the one that got hurt. I try to do something good and now everybody’s calling me a liar, calling me a fraudster. I’m none of those things, I just wanted to help.”
Gofundme issued a statement saying that all funds have been returned to those who contributed to Stelios' campaign and that he has been banned from future gofundme activities.
“Fraud, whether it takes place online or offline, is against the law. If it takes place online, GoFundMe donors are protected by the GoFundMe guarantee and their donations are refunded. Our team also works with law enforcement to report issues and assists them in investigations.”
A preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled for Mr. Psadourakis.