A judge has stayed an assault charge against a Bridgewater man accused of biting a Mountie, ruling police didn’t have the proper warrant for his arrest.
Officers were responding to a 911 call that came in after midnight in late June 2018 from a man who alleged he had just been assaulted by Lucas Greek in a holiday trailer near his attacker's family home.
"While Mr. Greek should not have bitten the officer, I recognize that he had just been unlawfully arrested and was being held down on the small deck while chaos was erupting behind him," Bridgewater provincial court Judge Ronda van der Hoek said in a written decision released Monday.
"It was a somewhat extreme reaction however I cannot allow the (assault) charge to proceed because the message I would send suggests approval of the officer’s actions in unlawfully arresting Mr. Greek in his home approximately 30 seconds earlier. I cannot attach judicial sanction to those actions of the police. This is one of the clearest of cases in which a stay is appropriate and I impose that on the (assault) charge, and should I be incorrect in this decision, I also could find on these facts that Mr. Greek acted in self-defence when he bit (the Mountie) after being swiftly, forcefully and unlawfully arrested and dragged to the small deck where he was forced down."
Greek, 23, had opened the door that night to RCMP officers who had already deemed him "arrestable," the judge said.
"His mother, who was also at the door, told the officer he needed a warrant and she, along with her son, closed the door on the officer, trapping him in the doorjamb," she said.
Two cops pushed the door in and arrested the young man for allegedly assaulting and threatening his girlfriend earlier that night. He was also charged with assaulting a male acquaintance who was hanging out at the Greek trailer that night.
Greek's lawyer argued that the arrest violated his client's Charter rights because police didn't have the proper warrant and they weren't in hot pursuit.
The judge also tossed out a charge of resisting arrest police laid against Greek.
"Since I also found the arrest unlawful, Mr. Greek’s actions in assisting his mother to push the door closed did not represent resisting arrest and he is found not guilty," van der Hoek said in the decision delivered orally earlier this year.
The judge also tossed out the charge against Greek for assaulting Jessica Corkum, his "on again, off again" girlfriend, as well as two charges of failing to comply with a probation order.
"Finally, the Crown proved the case of assault upon Curtis Zyderveld, and by virtue of that finding, Mr. Greek is guilty of breaching a recognizance condition to keep the peace and be of good behaviour," van der Hoek said.
"The Crown failed to prove the charge of assault upon Jessica Corkum."
Corkum testified that she was planning to stay overnight at Lucas Greek's family home when he "allowed her friends Dana Clattenburg and Curtis Zyderveld to come over to 'hang out at the trailer.' It was there she began to suspect Mr. Zyderveld liked her, and she believes jealousy motivated what happened next."
Corkum told the court she was sitting on a bed in the trailer when she extended her hand to Greek to help her up, while "Ms. Clattenburg was joking around laughing and trying to pull her back down. She says Mr. Greek’s actions were playful, they did not concern her, and she was neither injured nor was she assaulted by him."
She testified that Zyderveld, "who was outside the bedroom door in the hallway, 'thought Lucas was trying to be rough or mad with me.' She says, 'Curtis yelled something at Lucas like don’t manhandle me or something,' and 'they both got into it with each other.'"
Zyderveld told the court that Greek "tackled him onto the couch and started hitting him in the face with a fist at least half a dozen times, resulting in two black eyes. Under cross-examination he denied taking a first swing at Mr. Greek, instead testifying he never swung at all."
The judge found "Zyderveld was subjected to an unprovoked attack involving punches to his face delivered by Mr. Greek that was motivated by Mr. Zyderveld’s verbal intervention into what he perceived to be unwanted touching of Ms. Corkum by Mr. Greek."
The judge heard sentencing arguments last week, but she has not sentenced Greek yet.