'No respect for law enforcement': Father of brothers involved in border incident speaks out
Corey Roy is a heartbroken man.
Roy is the father of two Halifax men accused of causing a major disruption at a U.S. border crossing in New Brunswick last week.
He admits he's had little contact with his sons and says he has no idea what they were thinking when they allegedly stopped their car between the border stations at Woodstock, N.B. and Houlton, Maine, prompting a massive security response in both countries.
Roy also confirms they are the same men who were at the centre of a huge search effort in Halifax three years ago, when they failed to return from a camping trip.
Since their arrest last Friday, Roy says he hasn't heard from either son.
“The police haven't given us any information,” Roy said. “Definitely nothing from the States.”
He says waiting for info is tough.
Roy says the troubles started when his sons were young, around the time they were in Grade 3 or 4.
He says they are bright and articulate when they want to be and read constantly.
“At one point, there were classes they were supposed to take together and the school separated them, just because the teachers couldn't handle both of them in the same class," he recalls.
That rebellious behaviour has continued into adulthood, Roy says.
“They have no respect for law enforcement whatsoever,” said Roy. “They go for the reaction. That's about the best thing I can say about it, because it doesn't seem to stop them.”
Roy is on disability after a lifetime of military service and getting around is difficult for him, but he's the first to admit it's the least of his problems at the moment.
“It tears you up inside,” Roy said. “I love my boys to death -- I think the world of them -- I just think they've gone down the wrong path.”
It's a path that led to Friday’s incident at the busy border crossing, which was shut down for several hours after a car passed the Canadian border checkpoint and then simply stopped before getting to the U.S. checkpoint.
Sources say the two men inside ignored instructions from border guards and police.
“It's beyond my comprehension of what they were actually thinking in that car for all that time,” Corey Roy said. “I’m just glad they didn't get shot, which is a big fear of mine.”
The closure inconvenienced thousands of people who typically use it on a Friday.
Ultimately, U.S. authorities arrested 22-year-old Damien Roy and his 21-year-old brother, Bailey.
“I have no idea what they were doing at the border,” said Corey Roy. “I know they used to like to push the limits. Especially going through school, and also dealing with the local police department and stuff.”
There's been trouble before. Three years ago -- months before Damien was to graduate from high school, the young men announced they were going camping and simply never came home.
Search teams were dispatched, but called back when they came back home in the middle of the night and made it clear they didn't want any help.
Corey says the two young men have shunned others and always seemed to prefer each other's company. He also says they have lived on-and-off in a car for a number of years.
"They’re best friends,” Corey Roy says. “This'll be the first time they were actually separated.”
Bailey Roy made a brief court appearance in Woodstock on Monday, facing a number of charges.
Until Wednesday morning, Damien was behind bars in Portland.
All of it is heartbreaking for their father, who says he's at the end of his rope.
“I’m choking back the tears dealing with these guys,” Corey Roy said. “I don't … I can't think the way they're thinking, and I don't know what their expectations are of what the outcome of this is supposed to be.”
For now, Corey Roy intends to watch the proceedings from his home near Fredericton. Attending court, he says, would be too hard on his physical and mental health.
The latter is something he hopes the justice system will consider as it deals with the young men.
"But at the same time, I'm really asking for the help of the court system to help get them some kind of mental health evaluation,” he said. “We tried a few years ago, and if you're not a willing participant, they cannot do anything for you.”
Sources tell CTV News that Damien Roy will not be charged in the U.S., and there are indications he's probably en route back to Canada -- or will be, soon.
Sources say there may be a hearing in Boston to determine that.
Corey Roy says he's spent many sleepless nights wondering where his sons got some of their unusual ideas on the world, but wishes he'd monitored their internet use more when they were younger.
“We don't have any kind of a relationship that fathers and sons should have, and I always hope it would change, but it seems to be getting worse,” Roy says.“They're still my sons, and I still love them.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko and Laura Brown.