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

Boil water notice issued by South Okanagan town

The Town of Osoyoos has issued a boil water notice for two rural water systems

Young mother dies in Highway 3 semi collision

According to friends the victim was on her way to work, to a job she started earlier in the week

Okanagan Fest of Ale promises to be bigger and better

A record breaking 75 breweries are now confirmed to participate at the annual event in Penticton

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: A mix of sun and cloud, potential showers

Environment Canada predicts showers today will go away to allow for sun later in the week.

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

Police are investigating the crash in Coquitlam on Monday afternoon

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Yellow snake spotted slithering in Greater Victoria neighbourhood

Police describe it as ‘large, pale [and] yellow’ suggesting the snake may be exotic

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Hergott: How judges arrive at the truth

Latest column from lawyer Paul Hergott

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Portrait artist receives prestigious designation from Federation of Canadian Artists

Justin Maas, renowned for his pastel portraits, is now a senior signature member of the federation

Budget 2019 includes training credit for Canadian workers

Minister of Public Service outlined the new program at Penticton’s Sprott Shaw College

Most Read