Ronald Teneycke, a South Okanagan man currently serving an indefinite sentence at Kent Institution in Agassiz in the Fraser Valley, appeared via video in Penticton Provincial Court on Feb. 18 on a charge of failure to comply with a non-communication order.
Teneycke, 56, was handed a dangerous offender designation in March 2018 in relation to his prolific criminal record. One of his more notable offences, in July 2015, he shot Oliver resident Wayne Belleville in the back when he was posing as a hitchhiker on Baldy Mountain Forest Service Road and then led local RCMP on a man-hunt, ultimately being caught in a Cawston orchard.
In that incident he was found guilty of aggravated assault, wounding, two counts of robbery with a restricted or prohibited firearm, possessing a restricted firearm, failing to stop for police and multiple breaches of probation relating to an alleged crime spree. Part of Teneycke’s sentencing as a dangerous offender included a no-contact order with Belleville.
This did not deter the incarcerated man, recently sending Belleville a letter from Kent Institution, a maximum security facility.
“(Before opening it) I knew it was from him because his name was on the return address ‘R. Teneycke c/o: Kent Institution’. I can’t pretend to have a peak into the mind of a sociopath, I had no idea what it was going to say,” said Belleville. “The guy is a lunatic.”
Belleville was shocked that Teneycke had chosen to single him out of the other victims he has harmed, but noted he was in attendance “for most of his trial and through most of his dangerous offender hearing.”
“That whole process took well over two years, he had plenty of opportunities if he wanted to apologize or express any regret or remorse, he had lots of time then,” said Belleville. “And he never said a single word in regard to having any remorse, and I think that weighed against him ultimately with Justice Hewson’s decision. He just doesn’t behave like a normal human being - he’s a sociopath.”
So what did the letter entail exactly? Belleville said Teneycke at first expressed regret in shooting him.
“It wasn’t apologetic. He did say he won’t ever forgive himself for having shot me, but I think he wrote that more for the benefit of someone else who may see it,” said Belleville. “But he couldn’t even contain himself, he later went on to say that he had zero empathy for me and that, in fact, if it wasn’t for my behaviour, he wouldn’t have shot me at all - effectively blaming me.”
While Teneycke didn’t explicitly threaten Belleville in the letter, Belleville said “the fact that he sent it is a veiled threat in that it signifies A) ‘I’m think about you’ and B) ‘I know where you live’, so regardless of the contents of it, it’s disturbing.”
Apparently, Teneycke went as far as to invite Belleville to visit him at Kent Institution, suggesting he could provide “closure” and “information that would be useful if he wanted to pursue a lawsuit.” Belleville said he can only assume this information is pertaining to the RCMP, which he noted Teneycke “holds in very low regard.”
“I think he feels that he is fading into obscurity, and thankfully he is, and he likes the attention. I can’t say for sure that he does, but I can only assume based on his actions,” said Belleville. “I’ve been asked if I’m surprised that he’d go against an order and it’s like no, he had a lifelong prohibition from possessing firearms when he shot me. Court-imposed conditions mean absolutely nothing to him. He has no respect for law, obviously.”
Belleville is shocked that the letter even made it to him from the institution, noting they could have caught it before it was sent and charged him with the failure to comply without him even seeing the letter. He said both he and Kurt Froehlich, Penticton Crown counsel, are disappointed in Correctional Service Canada’s response to the incident.
“When I called the prison, they were very quick at calling me back and the gentleman assured me that it wouldn’t happen again, but offered no explanation as to how it happened in the first place,” said Belleville. “Kurt Froehlich also demanded an explanation from Corrections Canada and he relayed the message to me, which he found very unsatisfactory, is it escaped their attention that he had a no-contact list.”
“You would think with dangerous offenders, these people are the worst of the worst and (they should) look at this a little bit closer,” said Belleville.
Belleville said when he initially contacted RCMP, they told him they did not see in Teneycke’s file any reference of a no-contact order. He then called Froehlich who was able to clarify that there was a no-contact order issued when he was designated a dangerous offender.
While he has healed from his gunshot wound, Belleville said the memory is something that he reluctantly carries with him. He said after he was shot and laying on the ground “for a period of time he believed he was dying.”
“I had been shot, laying in the dirt and he drove off and the thought running through my mind was ‘Holy shit, I’m not going to survive this.’,” said Belleville.
“I would love for there to be a day that I don’t think of that asshole,” laughed Belleville. “That’s what I’m working on, I have no intention of visiting him and he has nothing to tell me that I want to hear. He can rot in there, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen to him.”
Belleville is thankful for the community that rallied around him after the initial incident in 2015.
“I’m cognizant of the completely random nature of this crime, and the probability of it happening again is low,” said Belleville. “I’m not changing any aspect of my life in regards to my personal safety. I live in a great community and that’s one of the things that was demonstrated to me after this incident, how cohesive and compassionate the community was.”
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