Speeding ticket could lead to 3rd trial
A Toronto man could face a third trial, over the same speeding ticket, after the City of Ottawa launched an appeal of his acquittal last month.
Dennis Pacitti, 43, was found guilty in 2009 of driving 149 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the Queensway. He was fined over $300 and given four demerit points.
He appealed the decision, and was cleared in a second trial in June 2010. But the city appealed that decision as well. A judge will decide in October whether to hold a third trial.
At issue was the lack of hard evidence on the speed of Pacitti's vehicle. Rather than using a radar gun or other speed-tracking device, the officer used a "pacing" method; judging the speed of Pacitti's pick up truck using the cruiser's speedometer.
"It was strange, because he didn't have anything to prove the speed," said Pacitti, an independent contractor who was on his way to a job when he was pulled over.
"I noticed him coming up behind me and he's just weaving through traffic to get to me," he said. "So I don't know how he knew how fast I was going. I really wasn't paying attention but don't think I was going 150. "
Stuart Huxley, the city's lawyer, said the police cruiser pursued Pacitti's truck "for some distance. And the speeds of both vehicles were approximately in the range of 175 kilometres per hour."
Pacitti said he can't understand why the city is still pursuing the case two years after the incident.
"The appeal surprises me, because it was just a speeding ticket," said Pacitti. "If it was a serious offence like a criminal offence I could understand that, but I really don't understand this."
The city said it is pursuing the case because the speed at which Pacitti's car was travelling was excessive. Pacitti said the incident has cost him more than $6,000 in car insurance and legal fees.
With files from the CBC's Ashley Burke