Shawn Piercey pleads guilty to three counts 0
The off-duty Pembroke police officer involved in an altercation at a city diner two years ago will have to wait to see what disciplinary action will be taken against him.
During a hearing convened at city hall Tuesday, Constable Shawn Piercey pled guilty to three counts of discreditable conduct under the Ontario Police Services Act.
The charges were laid by the Pembroke Police Service after Const. Piercey was found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while impaired during an incident at the Irving Big Stop on April 4, 2010.
Convicted in March, 2011, the 43-year-old officer received a $1,200 fine and a one-year driving prohibition. At the time, Justice Marion E. Lane granted an absolute discharge in connection with a ‘causing a disturbance in a public place’ conviction.
Opening the brief hearing, Bob Fitches, a retired Ontario Provincial Police superintendent overseeing the matter, announced that Const. Piercey and the Pembroke Police Service had agreed to a statement of facts pertaining to what occurred at the diner early that morning.
The statement said that on the night of April 3, 2010 Const. Piercey, along with his friend, Tyler Hawkins, left a bar in Quebec after consuming a substantial amount of alcohol. They arrived at the Big Stop, entered the popular 24-hour restaurant and sat at a booth. A group of four other customers were seated nearby. Both men engaged in an increasingly loud and bizarre conversation, which included jokes about being stabbed in the throat with a fork which attracted the attention of the nearby group.
When the group began parroting portions of the conversation, Const. Piercey confronted them in “a loud, aggressive and belligerent manner,” the statement read.
He placed his arms on their table with his head close to Kaila St. Martin, one of the women at the table, and yelled at her. She knew he was a police officer and was frightened by his behaviour, the statement noted.
One of the males at the table, Derron Keon, who had also been drinking, stood up and pushed the officer. A physical altercation broke out, resulting in tables and chairs being knocked to the floor and punches exchanged. They were separated with Const. Piercey receiving a bloodied nose and a fat lip.
When Const. Piercey was asked to leave the premises, he refused, saying he had done nothing wrong. According to the statement, after a staff member warned he would call the police, Const. Piercey responded saying: “Go ahead and call them. They are not going to do anything, I’m a cop.”
When officers arrived at the diner, the staff member told police he wanted both parties removed from the restaurant. After Const. Piercey left, Sgt. Dean Duchrow noted that his speech was slurred, his eyes were blurry, glossy and red and his breath smelled of alcohol. Const. Piercey insisted on going home, however, the officers advised him that he would not be allowed to drive. After insisting he take the roadside breath test, Const. Piercey registered a fail.
After the test, Piercey threw the mouthpiece of the device on the floor of the police cruiser and told Sgt. Duchrow, “I wouldn’t do this to you.”
He then became verbally abusive with the officers, accusing them of harassing him. Eventually, he and Mr. Hawkins left the restaurant and walked home, the statement concluded.
Chief Dave Hawkins said the next phase of the hearing will be to review evidence from both sides to determine what form of penalty Const. Piercey will receive.
“We’re happy this phase is over and we’ll move forward with a sentencing hearing,” said Chief Hawkins.
Const. Piercey, a veteran of both the Ottawa and Pembroke police services, remains suspended with pay. His lawyer, Craig Stehr, offered no comment after the hearing was adjourned.
The matter will resume on Oct. 22 when Mr. Stehr and Marie-France Dupuis, the lawyer representing the Pembroke Police Service, convene a conference call with Mr. Fitches to set future dates.