Police officer's trial to wrap up on Wednesday
The Crown and defence called their final witnesses to take the stand in the Steven Oster trial on Tuesday afternoon.
Oster, a Thunder Bay police constable, faces one charge of assault after an incident at the Neebing Arena in January 2013. He was off duty at the time.
Oster allegedly pushed a young boy on three separate occasions in a short period of time.
The first person to testify on Tuesday — the second day of the trial — was Nathaniel Moses, a friend of the boy's father. He said he saw Oster cut off the boy in a hallway and give him a little shove as the boy walked toward the ice surface. Moses testified he was unsure whether or not it was a friendly, playful gesture until he saw the boy's lips quiver. He also testified there was a second incident where Oster told the boy to "get out of here."
Moses said that he, along with the boy's father and uncle confronted Oster, and a lot of yelling ensued. He said the uncle said to Oster, "If you like pushing kids around, then come push me around." Moses said Oster and the father went and spoke near the dressing rooms after that.
Other Crown witnesses
Another witness, Tracy Pinet, testified that Oster bumped the boy as he was walking toward the ice surface, coming from a dressing room. She said the boy looked confused after the incident. She said the bump was hard enough to turn the boy from his original direction. Pinet testified it looked like Oster was texting at the time.
Pinet said on the way back to the dressing room, Oster motioned to the boy and pointed his finger for a brief moment. After a few minutes, the father and uncle appeared, and said there was 'tension' as the two parties were discussing the issue. Pinet said she heard a comment about issues between the children of Oster and the father.
Defence lawyer David Bruzzese called two witnesses to the stand.
Carole Camire said on the day of the alleged incident, it was a 'charged' crowd with lots of energy in the arena. She said the hockey tournament taking place that weekend allowed physical contact, and the goalie from another team was overheard saying how he couldn't wait to get onto the ice to hit.
She said she was told by Oster's ex-wife of a rough game in December of 2012, and a player was pointed out to her who had been aggressive to Oster's son in that game.
Camire testified that she saw no interaction between Oster and the boy. She said she heard Oster tell the boy to "keep it clean."
She said shortly after seeing the boy pass by Oster, the boy's father and two others went up to him. Camire said Oster had his arms folded, with a perplexed look on his face, as if he was caught off guard.
Camire testified she was confused because she thought nothing had happened between Oster and the father.
The Crown and defence will make their final submissions to the court on Wednesday morning.
Steven Oster did not take the stand during the trial.