Trevor Luszcz received a 60-day sentence Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, after pleading guilty to one count of uttering threats to burn, destroy or damage and one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Trevor Luszcz received a 60-day sentence Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, after pleading guilty to one count of uttering threats to burn, destroy or damage and one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Man jailed for threatening to burn down Vernon hospital

The 34-year-old has was on probation for two earlier convictions at the time of the incident

A Vernon man with a history of serving time for uttering threats has been given a 60-day jail sentence for threatening to burn down the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Trevor Stanley Luszcz pleaded guilty to one count of uttering threats to burn, destroy or damage and one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

Luszcz’s charges stem from an incident on Nov. 12, 2019, when he spent a night at the hospital due to drug use but was asked to leave the following day. He responded with an outburst that led to him threatening to “burn down the hospital.” When security was called Luszcz threatened to punch the security guard.

At the time of the incident in the hospital, the 34-year-old was already on probation for two recent convictions — one for assaulting a peace officer in April 2019 and one for uttering threats in November 2018. He spent a total of 180 days in jail for those convictions.

Luszcz appeared on a video from custody at the Vernon Law Courts Nov. 27 in a hearing that was at times confrontational. He told Judge Jeremy Guild he had nowhere to go other than safe injection sites or into custody.

“Our mental health system should be helping me, not throwing me in jail,” he said.

“I’m trying to recover and move on in my life. I’m working with mental health workers, I’m working with substance abuse workers, I’m trying.”

The hearing devolved into a lengthy, profanity-filled rant in which Luszcz told Judge Guild about his frustrated efforts to get clean.

“They need to come up with different situations for people when they get released, they can go to a clean and sober environment and stay clean. Not be put into a safe injection site,” Luszcz said.

READ MORE: Court hears of motorist’s erratic driving before girl hit in Vancouver Island crosswalk

READ MORE: Court hears man’s multiple property crimes in Shuswap fueled by addiction

Defence lawyer Tiffany Zanatta said Luszcz suffered from mental health issues and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD and has been battling an addiction to crystal meth. Zanatta asked that her client be given a sentence of time served, which amounted to 23 days in jail.

Judge Guild asked Zanatta why there should be a decreased sentence in this case.

Zanatta reasoned that her client had entered a “very early guilty plea” and had shown some past success with addictions treatment. Luszcz himself said he’s not able to access support services while in custody.

Guild conceded that addictions treatment in our society is not without its flaws, interjecting at times during Luszcz’s rant to say that he made some “good points.” But ultimately, Guild could not overlook Luszcz’s record and suggested there were changes he could make for the better.

“Nothing in your probation order says you have to be in Vernon,” he told Luszcz, who had previously said he’s been able to stay out of trouble whenever he’s not in the city. “If you do better outside of Vernon, then that’s something you should look into.”

Guild added that refusing to co-operate with staff at the hospital disrupted care for people in a position similar to his.

“All they were trying to do was make it so that other people also people also had a chance to be in a hospital bed,” he said. “I’m sure all the nurses and doctors would love it if they could have many more beds and have everybody in a bed.”

Guild decided not to hand Luszcz a probationary condition that would prevent him from visiting the hospital, reasoning that he relies upon hospital services to treat his addiction and mental health.

Luszcz is credited with 23 days served from time he’s spent in custody for his current charges. After the 60-day sentence he has another 37 days to spend behind bars.

READ MORE: Woman witnesses vicious beating of senior at Abbotsford bus stop

READ MORE: Supreme Court declines to hear extradition appeal in cyber abuse case


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Younger Princeton residents are now being urged to register for a vaccination notification. (Black Press Media photo)
Princeton lags behind in vaccination rates

Approximately 24 per cent of residents here have received their first dose

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Okanagan First Nation band concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, much to dismay of Splatsin First Nation near Enderby

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Winfield road open following police, coroner investigation

Pelmewash Parkway closure near Highway 97 connection

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Shuswap shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Most Read