A Niagara regional police sergeant says he feared for his life when he fired 10 shots at a fellow officer on a rural Ontario road three years ago.
The dispute that took place in the afternoon started as a verbal dispute over vandalism in the bathroom. But before Detective Sergeant Martin Shane Donovan knew it, there was a scuffle, and then suddenly he and Constable Nathan Parker pulled out their guns.
“It was either me or him,” an emotional date. Sergeant Donovan told the Hamilton Courtroom on Tuesday – the first day of the trial – not against him, but against Constable Parker.
The 55-year-old constable, who was suspended with pay from the police force upon his arrest, is charged with assault on a peace officer, assault with intent to resist arrest, and assault with a weapon.
Description Sergeant Donovan was also initially charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. But in 2019, the Crown withdrew charges that showed no reasonable likelihood of conviction.
Description Sergeant Donovan is the first witness to be called in his colleague’s judge-alone trial, which is being held before Justice Anthony Leach of the Ontario Court of Justice in Hamilton, an hour’s drive from the area that both the witness and defendant Responsible for policing.
From the Witness Stand, Det. Sergeant Donovan testified that he had never drawn his gun at anyone prior to this unexpected escalation of violence on November 29, 2018.
The 22-year veteran of the police force was in charge of the Collision Reconstruction Unit at the time, and that morning solicited the assistance of a uniformed officer to help block a rural road in Pelham, Ont., where his investigators had gathered. Evidence regarding an accident that happened two weeks ago.
Constable Parker was assigned the task. He took one end of the road, and Det. Sergeant Donovan took another.
At some point, the court heard, Constable Parker stepped down. When he returned, he told the sergeant (in an exchange through the passenger side window of his cruiser) that he had to go to the restroom.
when date. After Sergeant Donovan told him not to do this again—that if he needed to leave, tell him he could get someone to cover him—the constable yelled at him, “loudly and aggressively “For not having his radio.
“You’re talking to a sergeant,” Det. Sergeant Donovan reminded him.
Constable Parker exited, and as the two men came face to face at the foot of the cruiser, the detective sergeant got ready to shout. Instead, the constable pushed him.
“You are under arrest for assault,” Det. Sergeant Donovan remembered him, after stumbling backwards along the grassy road.
But the constable “just kept coming”, throwing “Haymaker” punches at his head. Description Sergeant Donovan intercepted the hit, and threw up his hands in surrender.
“I want this to end,” he said. “It’s already gone too far.”
But as he moved towards his SUV, he said Constable Parker followed, throwing another punch.
This time, D.T. Sergeant Donovan returned with one of his own.
He remembered watching as Constable Parker then pulled out and raised his baton. Knowing the damage the weapon could do to the head, he drew his gun and pointed it.
“Oh, you want to do this?” He remembered Constable Parker saying that before dropping the baton and having pulled his pistol from his holster.
At that time, D.T. Sergeant Donovan tells Assistant Crown Attorney Jeremy Tatum – his voice is cracking on the stand – He feared for his life.
So he fired first at his center of mass, and then lowered at the body when it wasn’t stopping him.
Ten shots later, Constable Parker dropped his gun and fell to the ground.
Description Sergeant Donovan said he threw the gun out of reach, and then picked it up and put it in his SUV. Then he grabbed his radio to call an ambulance.
Details Sergeant Donovan will continue his testimony on Wednesday.
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