nl-newell-wayne-200905

Wayne Newell says an off-duty RCMP officer in Nain has been charged with assault and forcible confinement. ((CBC))

An off-duty Mountie in northern Labrador is accused of assaulting a woman and then later arresting her and putting her in the Nain lockup, the RCMP said Thursday.

Const. James Woodrow was arrested Wednesday and remained in custody overnight. He appeared in circuit court in Nain on Thursday afternoon on charges of assault and forcible confinement.

"These are serious [charges]," said Sgt. Wayne Newell, who speaks on behalf of the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Obviously, the RCMP does not tolerate any degree of domestic violence, and when it involves one of our own, it is certainly not a good thing.

"It's something that we're not very proud to report but we have to report it."

Newell said other members of the force learned of the dispute at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday. Because the complaint involved a member of the detachment, RCMP officers from other locations flew in.

He said the investigation showed that the dispute started in the officer's home.

"The off-duty RCMP officer took it upon himself to arrest the woman. When it ended up outside, he placed her in cells for the evening — that's [the] forcible confinement charge," Newell told CBC News.

Newell, who said alcohol was involved, said he did not have details about the relationship between Woodrow and the woman, who lives in Nain.

Newell said the woman had minor injuries and has been offered counselling.

On Thursday afternoon, a circuit court judge in Nain released Woodrow on conditions to keep the peace and have no contact with the complainant.

It is not clear if Woodrow will return to his duties.