A bold and inviting sign, amongst the grass and sporadic trees, reads, "Tangled Spur Ranch." Below it a small green model tractor, its red flag lowered downwards.This ranch is close to the community of Priddis just outside of Calgary, Canada. For Southern Alberta bylaw officer and former Mountie, Rod Lazenby, 62, it was just another day at work on Friday, August, 10th, 2012. He could not have suspected that today someone lay in wait for him,that he was part of a dispute that would lead to his death.
Trevor Kloschinsky 46, had ongoing disagreements with his neighbours . "I said you can leave now and don’t come back," said one neighbour, "He was erratic and foul mouthed, you couldn’t guess if he would do one thing or another." For a few months there had been a number of complaints made about the dogs at the acreage, Kloschinsky is said to believe these complaints were made by a neighbour who wanted to sell his own property.
Kloschinsky had somewhat of an obsession for breeding dogs, he had 30 Australian Cattle dogs (estimated) commonly nicknamed "Blue Heelers" at his rented ranch. He was often visited in response to calls about noise disturbances and had numerous animal and property-related complaints lodged against him. "They didn’t bark unless you went near them," said the Ranch owner, Bruce Adams, who had himself been visited and probably cited by Lazenby.
Blue Heelers have a distinct and intense high-pitched bark but usually only bark when alarmed or as a sign of boredom to draw attention. They are a medium-sized dog. Wayne Ryder, a previous landlord of Kloschinsky, court-evicted him from a ranch west of Turner Valley because his dogs barked at all hours and he received numerous complaints from the neighbours, "They are always barking and never go outside," said Chuck Caswell who lived close by.
"There’s no reason to have so many dogs, unless you’re a hoarder," said a dog breeder in Priddis.
Kloschinsky was a loner and a volatile man, RCMP were aware of this, unfortunately their concerns regarding this were not passed on to Foothills peace officers. Rod Lazenby, who responded to a noise complaint, arrived at the Ranch unarmed. Peace Officers are not permitted to use guns. Hidden amongst the trees, Kloschinsky allegedly ambushed Lazenby on arrival. Lazenby was then handcuffed and severely beaten.,
Lazenby had worked for the RCMP for over 35 years as an undercover officer and homicide detective, he had retired in 1996 then taken a job as a Peace Officer to be closer to his daughter. "He did some very unique and dangerous work," said Mike Butcher, former RCMP colleague and best friend. He was a quiet respectful man who showed understanding to people of all walks of life. Lazenby was a regular community volunteer, he was once the mascot for the Okotoks Oilers hockey team. Lazenby had spent his life dedicated to locking up dangerous criminals and was highly trained. According to the City Of Calgary, Peace Officers are also, "trained in conflict resolution and mediation to better assist with neighbourhood issues." Nonetheless Lazenby was ill equipped for the events that took place that day.
After allegedly beating Lazenby within an inch of his life, Kloschinsky then drove his victim to a South Calgary police station in a SUV claiming to have captured a person who wanted to "steal his dogs." Sources suggest some of Kloschinky’s dogs had been seized in the past. Lazenby was described as being in severe "medical distress" and was rushed to RockyView General Hospital, Calgary but died on the way to the hospital from his injuries. He left behind a devastated wife and daughter, he also had a grandson he was devoted to.
The RCMP charged Kloschinsky with First Degree Murder, on August 15, 2012, he made his first court appearance briefly to answer questions about his mental fitness. Kloschinsky, a large built man, heavily bearded with glasses may have seemed menacing as he faced the court had it not been for the handcuffs and shackles. He was however polite to the judge and thanked him before leaving the stand. A mental fitness assessment cannot be conducted until Kloschinsky has secured a legal representative. Crown Prosecutor Jim Sawa told reporters, "We are concerned that Mr Kloschinsky have legal representative. . . until we see the police material I cannot disclose anymore."
The Calgary Humane society offered its condolences, emailing the CBC, "Its a stark realization at the capacity of risk these officers take to protect the welfare of animals everyday" Kloschinsky’s dogs are still at the property and "still barking " according to a neighbour. They were being cared for by the SPCA ensuring they have plenty of food and water but it was not yet known what would happen to them in the future and if they needed re-homing .
Lazenby was a level 2 Peace Officer, as such he was not even equipped with pepper spray or a baton. Alberta Solicitor General stated that considering changing the equipment given to Peace officers is something the department will be doing after this investigation.
Judge Beth Hughes accepted evidence from two psychiatrists who said Kloschinsky, 49, was suffering a mental disorder which rendered him incapable of appreciating what he was doing was wrong. "Mr. Kloschinsky's mental disorder made him incapable ... of knowing the act was wrong," Hughes said. "Mr. Kloschinsky's thinking processes were affected by his delusional thinking as to prevent him from realizing that assaulting officer Lazenby was wrong." Kloschinsky's fate was put in the hands of an Alberta Review Board, to determine his treatment and custody. When Judge Hughes ordered Kloschinsky to appear before the board at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton for a disposition hearing it would be the last word on this madman’s existence.