CALGARY - Police in Montreal say they have been in contact with their Calgary counterparts regarding a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen who is said to have a history of claiming rental properties as "embassies" and refusing to leave.
Andreas Pirelli, 48, who sources have confirmed also goes by Mario Antonacci, was charged with pushing a landlady down a flight of stairs in Montreal in 2007. An arrest warrant was issued in May 2010 when he failed to show up during his trial.
Pirelli resurfaced in Alberta this week, when senior Rebekah Caverhill went public with her two-year battle to get him out of her Calgary rental duplex. She says he identified himself as a follower of the Freemen-on-the-Land movement, claimed the property as an embassy, changed the locks and placed a lien on the home.
"The Montreal police is in contact with the Calgary police regarding Mr. Antonacci, since we have events here linked to him," confirmed Marie-Élaine Ladouceur, a Montreal police spokeswoman in an email to The Canadian Press.
Quebec’s office of public prosecutions said the Montreal trial continued without the accused and the Crown completed presenting its evidence. Jean-Pascal Boucher, a spokesman for the Crown, said his office is aware of reports out of Calgary this week, but is waiting for more information.
"The authorities will ensure that the warrant is enforceable anywhere in Canada," Boucher said.
Calgary police spokesman Michael Nunn says they have been in touch with authorities in Montreal about the case. He did not comment further.
The Montreal trial involved an alleged assault on a woman, Jocelyne Malouf, who said she allowed Antonacci to house-sit a home rent-free for five months while its occupant was out of the country.
Malouf told The Canadian Press she had problems when asking him to leave.
"He was trying to keep the apartment for him without paying nothing," she said.
She alleges he threw her down a flight of stairs breaking her pelvis, arm, wrist and ankle. Malouf said she was then picked up and thrown onto the street.
An email request for comment from Pirelli was not returned Thursday.
He had previously responded to requests for comment on Caverhill's allegations with a warning that he has trademark claims on the name "Andreas Pirelli" and "The First Nations Sovran Embassy of Earth."
Earlier this week, The Canadian Press was faxed a fee schedule for the alleged unauthorized use of copyrighted names, including Andreas Pirelli and Mario Antonacci. The fax says the fee is $1 million for each use of each name.
An eviction order granted earlier this week by a Calgary court states that Pirelli must be out of Caverhill's home by the end of Friday.
If he doesn't leave before then, the eviction services company handling the case said it expects to remove him from the home on Saturday.
"A bailiff will be there to remove him and unless something odd happens here in the next day or so it will be Saturday," said Melissa Costea, manager of Foster and Company Landlord 911.
Costea said she doesn't expect Pirelli to leave voluntarily.
"We've been working on this since the end of August. Up to this point it's just been paper pushing getting the order in place. The removal of him is a different story," she said.
"He's basically on lockdown. I can't see them packing up and moving ... If that happened that would be fantastic but we're definitely not expecting it to go that route."
Once the eviction takes place, the locks will be changed. Pirelli will have a week to remove his belongings, but must use a moving company.
The Law Society of British Columbia and B.C. Notaries has issued warnings about Freemen and in a bulletin last year, the society estimated the group could number as many as 30,000 in Canada.
RCMP and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are developing awareness materials for front-line officers and the movement is the subject of upcoming policing seminars in Vancouver and Toronto.
The FBI considers the movement a domestic terror threat in the U.S., but a Freemen-on-the-Land spokesman told The Canadian Press earlier this month that violence is not advocated and has no place in the movement.
— With files from Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal
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