Tussle in a driveway the focus of off-duty police officer's assault trial

The trial of an 11-year-veteran of the Regina Police Service is underway.
Todd Sherwin was off-duty when he had a tussle with a man he thought had been driving dangerously. (Adam Hunter/CBC)

The trial of an 11-year-veteran of the Regina Police Service is underway.

Todd Sherwin is accused of assault stemming from an incident on June 9, 2012, when he was off duty.

According to testimony heard in the case Thursday, another man, John Hastings, 64, was driving home to White City, just outside Regina, when he decided to pass the car in front of him.

In doing so, he crossed a solid line on the Highway 48, and then made a quick turn.

Sherwin, 43, was in that other car and, based on what he saw, believed Hastings was speeding and driving recklessly.

He decided to follow Hastings.

The two ended up on Hastings driveway and, according to testimony heard in court, there was a tussle.

According to testimony from Hastings, Sherwin said he was a police officer, showed him a badge and admonished him, saying "you could have hurt somebody, Me or my kids."

Hastings said Sherwin was visibly upset and shoved him with two hands. He says Sherwin took hold of his cell phone so he couldn't use it and also put him in two different arm locks.


He told the court that he reacted to being in an arm lock by calling Sherwin an "idiot".

"What's wrong with you? Don't you know you're assaulting a 63-year-old man?" Hastings recalled his words for the court. "Don't you have a father you idiot?"

He said after that Sherwin left the scene.

Differing account from Sherwin

Sherwin, on the other hand, testified that Hastings was the aggressor in the situation and that he only raised his hands in the air and the use of an arm lock was done to to protect himself.

"When he came at me I put my hands up to stop him and hands hit his chest," Sherwin told the court. "I absolutely didn't push him."

He added he had kept a professional demeanor throughout the encounter and had only wanted to warn Hastings about some bad driving.

The case did not wrap up on Thursday and another court date, to hear from another witness, has to be worked out. The trial has been adjourned until that can be scheduled.

With files from CBC's Adam Hunter