Conditional discharge for cop who sicced K9 dog on compliant suspect
TORONTO — A conditional discharge has been granted to an Ontario police officer who pleaded guilty to assault after siccing his K9-unit dog on a suspect lying on the ground awaiting arrest.
In early September, York regional police Const. Michael Partridge admitted his role in the assault on March 30, 2016, that left a man with minor injuries.
Partridge was originally charged with assault and assault with a weapon — the weapon being the dog — but he pleaded guilty to one count of assault on the day his trial was scheduled to begin.
The Crown had been seeking a conditional sentence with house arrest, while the defence sought a conditional discharge.
A surveillance video that captured the incident shows Partridge kicking and punching the suspect while the dog he had released bit and clamped down on the man’s arm.
The judge has called Partidge’s actions a momentary lack of judgment in the heat of the moment.
York police had been investigating break-and-enters in the Toronto area and wanted to arrest three men following one alleged break in at a home in Brampton, Ont.
They followed the men to downtown Toronto and were met by Toronto police.
Around 3:30 p.m., one of the suspects was arrested after he walked out of a condominium and a subsequent search revealed a baggy with loose ammunition.
Partridge was there with his police dog, Lex, to help if needed. Officers spotted two other suspects, who bolted with police following, court heard.
One officer ran after one of the suspects who eventually stopped running and lay face down in an alley .
The suspect, Median Jackson, is seen in surveillance video lying on the ground for about two minutes as an officer stands nearby waiting for someone to arrive with handcuffs, court heard.
Partridge did not know the suspect was on the ground obeying the officer’s orders when he yelled out "Police, K9, you’re under arrest, come out,” court heard.
Almost immediately, Partridge released the dog before he knew Jackson’s whereabouts. The dog bit down on Jackson’s arm and began thrashing its head back and forth, video evidence showed.
Toronto police opened an investigation into the arrest and eventually laid the charges late last year.
Police charged Jackson with one count of break and enter and breach of probation, but both were later dropped due to Partridge’s actions.
- Liam Casey
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017
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