B.C. woman accused of threatening hockey player boyfriend arrested in U.S.
CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, January 22, 2014 4:41PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:19PM PST
A 25-year-old freelance reporter from Kelowna is being held in a Washington State jail under possible felony charges for allegedly threatening to kill her hockey player boyfriend – the son of an NHL coach.
Tieja MacLaughlin was arrested in Kennewick, Wash. Saturday for allegedly threatening to kill 19-year-old Tri-City Americans left-winger Jackson Playfair – the son of former Calgary Flames head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Jim Playfair.
MacLaughlin, who worked as a reporter for TV, newspapers and online news website Castanet in Kelowna, allegedly found out Playfair had cheated on her and told him she was on her way to Kennewick, according to Kennewick Police Department arrest documents.
During the same phone call, MacLaughlin is accused of telling Playfair “he would be dead by the end of the night,” the police report said.
Officers spoke with the woman – who assured them she would leave Playfair alone and would head back home.
“Unfortunately, over the next several hours she just bombarded the young man with a massive amount of text messages trying to get him to meet her,” said KPD spokesman Mike Blatman.
That’s when Playfair contacted police, who then arrested MacLaughlin in her Kennewick hotel room. She now faces felony charges of threats and harassment with domestic violence.
None of the allegations against her have been proven in court and she has not been charged. She can be held without charge for up to 72 hours after her Tuesday court appearance.
The police report said MacLaughlin denied making the threats when questioned by police.
Trevor Rockliffe, who runs Okanagan news agency Castanet, said MacLaughlin had worked as a freelancer for the website until Jan. 12 – and employees there were stunned to hear of her arrest.
“It was shocking for us to hear that someone we knew was in jail,” he said. “We always tell people, ‘Don’t be the news’ as reporters…It’s a shame too because she is so young and had what apparently could’ve been a bright future.”
Playfair and the Tri-City Americans office aren’t commenting on the alleged threats.
In police reports, he told police he’d been in a relationship with MacLaughlin since July but that it had been “rocky” at times.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat and files from The Canadian Press