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Langford councillor says critic crossed a line when he showed up in front of his home

The confrontation with council critic Scott Perry took place on a public sidewalk on Luxton Road in front of Coun. Keith Yacucha’s home.

Langford Coun. Keith Yacucha says his wife and two young children were “traumatized” after he confronted a man critical of council who was allegedly taking photos through the windows of his home late last month.

The incident on Jan. 29 on Luxton Road was the subject of a news conference on Wednesday by Mayor Scott Goodmanson and four councillors, where the mayor said the current council is facing increasing hostility.

The targeted councillor was not named at the news conference, which came on the heels of a protest over tax increases the night before in front of city hall.

But on Friday, Yacucha, an economics professor at Camosun College, told the Times Colonist he was the councillor involved.

Yacucha did not attend the 20-minute gathering because of mid-term examinations at the college, but said the point had to be made “that a line was crossed.”

“You can come to city hall and protest, you can send emails, go on social media … but don’t show up at my home, don’t intimidate my family. That’s going too far,” Yacucha said in an interview.

Yacucha reported the incident to West Shore RCMP, who said they investigated and determined that although the behaviour was concerning, no criminal act had been committed.

The confrontation took place on a public sidewalk on Luxton Road in front of Yacucha’s home. Yacucha said his wife and children were not home at the time and he was leaving on his bike to meet them at a local recreation centre.

Langford resident Scott Perry called in to a CFAX Radio talk show Friday morning and identified himself as the person in front of Yacucha’s townhouse complex, but insisted he was only in the area to visit a friend and did not take pictures of the councillor’s home.

Perry has been a vocal critic in council meetings and on social media since the new council took power after the 2022 civic election.

During a council meeting last March, Perry was asked to keep his comments to the agenda multiple times, but continued speaking. He was asked to leave city hall by the city’s director of corporate services, who then told bylaw officers to remove him.

Perry told CFAX on Friday he was coming back from Slegg Lumber just after 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 and was going to visit a friend who lives in the same area.

After parking his vehicle and walking along the sidewalk, Parry said he was confronted from behind by Yacucha who was on his bike.

Perry said he was not looking into windows and said he took no photos.

But Yacucha rejected his explanation, saying he could see a photo of his window on Perry’s phone as he was holding it during their conversation.

“There’s no pictures,” Perry told CFAX. “I’ll give my phone to forensics or whatever.”

Yacucha said he would like to think the encounter was a misunderstanding, but doesn’t believe it was.

“When I came around to talk to him, he was already turning to head back to his vehicle which seems to me to indicate that his sole purpose of being there was to take a picture by my residence,” Yacucha said in an email.

“When I asked him why he was taking pictures, he said he was taking a picture of my neighbour’s sign, not my unit, despite me being able to see my unit zoomed in on and centered on his screen.”

Goodmanson said Wednesday the city was “at its most divided” and called on former Mayor Stew Young to help heal the divisions, but the plea through the media had the opposite effect, with Young saying he had no intention of interfering with what he called people’s right to free speech.

Yacucha was hesitant about this week’s news conference, fearing a backlash within the community.

“I intentionally did not want [Perry] named as I did not want him or his family to risk having to go through what I have,” said Yacucha.

But he said the experience has had a “profound” effect on his family.

“This has been traumatizing, and the continued skepticism only compounds the harm inflicted on [my family’s] mental well-being,” said Yacucha. “Municipal politics should be a realm where all residents feel safe to participate without fear for their families’ safety.”

dkloster@timescolonist.com