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

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Central Saanich hosts NEAT program to help seniors connect with each other

Health promotion program aims to reduce social isolation among seniors

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read