St. John's lawyer filing complaint against RNC
St. John's lawyer Bob Simmonds says he plans to file a complaint against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary following an incident that left his client bloodied and beaten when officers tried to arrest him.
The incident between police and Simmonds's client, Bradley Bartlett, 25, took place in the early hours of Dec. 15.
Police say when they arrived at Dooly's bar on Topsail Road, Bartlett was standing outside the pool hall with a beer in his hand.
Bartlett was arrested for drinking in public and littering.
But Simmonds says his client was punched in the face three times by an officer, and forced to the ground as police tried to arrest him.
Photos taken that night show Bartlett on the ground with a bloody face.
He was charged with assaulting three RNC officers and resisting arrest. But in provincial court on Wednesday, the Crown dropped those charges.
"They determined they had no likelihood of conviction," Simmonds said. "The best they could do was come up with a charge under the littering act, which was appealed in 2002."
Simmonds claims it wasn't Bartlett who did the assaulting, but the police.
He says Bartlett shouldn't have been charged in the first place.
"What happened here was absolutely, completely inappropriate, and this man sustained injuries as a result of it. That should not happen," he said.
Simmonds is also accusing the RNC of failing to interview witnesses about the arrest.
"I can tell you that at least three of the witnesses I spoke to were there at the scene that night," he said.
"Police did not want to speak to them because they figured they were drunk and just obstructing the process. Had they spoken to them — one of them had a video, in fact, of some of it."
Police saying little
RNC Chief Bill Janes said little in relation to the incident.
Janes said the RNC Public Complaints Commission will investigate the incident.
"Well the Crown prosecutors' office determined not to proceed with the matter, so that's as much as I can say right now," he said.
"From a legal perspective, I guess they determined that there were issues there."
Simmonds said he plans to also write to the complaints commission, but he's calling on the RNC to do its own criminal investigation into how the arrest was handled.
Bartlett is also planning to file a civil lawsuit against the RNC.