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Man involved in Abbotsford standoff has long criminal history
The man involved in a six-and-a-half-hour standoff with police on Wednesday in Abbotsford was the subject of a public warning last month in Chilliwack after breaching his bail conditions.
RCMP warned on Aug. 6 that Bernard William David Barton, 37, could be armed and dangerous.
He had failed to turn up at a treatment centre in Chiliwack where he was to reside as part of his bail conditions. Barton had been on the lam since then, and was wanted on three warrants – two for breach and one for allegedly stealing a vehicle.
His long criminal history also includes serving a 14-year sentence for his involvement in a 1998 botched home invasion that resulted in the death of Ted Charles Green of Abbotsford.
Barton (in police mugshot at left) and co-accused Frank Joseph Federici invaded Green's home – located on Downes Road in Abbotsford – on Halloween 1998. Federici carried a knife and Barton was armed with a sawed-off rifle.
A fight ensued with Green, and he was stabbed 11 times, while his common-law wife witnessed the struggle.
Federici and Barton were each charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in June 2000. They were each sentenced to 14 years, and were both released on conditions.
The standoff on Wednesday took place at a rental home on Catalina Crescent at Cordova Avenue, just south of Marshall Road.
Const. Ian MacDonald said police were called just before noon for an apparent domestic dispute.
When police arrived, a woman came out of the home, but Barton, who was believed to be in the residence, did not appear despite police requests.
"We could hear someone from inside and movement inside," MacDonald said.
Barton was initially believed to be in an upstairs bedroom, but later moved into the attic.
Over the course of the standoff, police made several attempts to coax Barton out of the home.
"You're under arrest. Come out with your hands in the air," officers repeated over a megaphone numerous times.
A K9 unit and members of the emergency response team – wearing protective tactical gear – were among those on scene. They entered the home for the first time at about 5 p.m. but Barton was not found nor did he surrender.
Police next fired three rounds of tear gas into the upstairs bedroom, causing bystanders 300 to 400 feet away from the scene to sneeze and cough from the particles.
A short while later, three more rounds of tear gas were fired, but Barton still did not surrender.
Once it was determined that Barton had moved into the attic, police emitted pepper spray into the space, resulting in him surrendering at about 6:30 p.m.
Barton was taken from the home in handcuffs and treated for the effects of the tear gas and pepper spray. His mugshot distributed by police last month showed him with dark hair, but he was sporting dyed blonde hair on Wednesday.
MacDonald said some people might question why the standoff took so long to resolve.
"If it takes six hours and everyone comes away unharmed, then that was a successful operation," he said.
MacDonald said police are continuing to investigate whether any charges will be laid in relation to the alleged domestic dispute and the subsequent standoff.
According to the provincial court database, Barton's criminal history dates back to 1995 and includes convictions for assault causing bodily harm, possession of stolen property, uttering threats and mischief.
He is next scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on Oct. 7.