Thunder Bay police constable Steven Oster has been found not guilty of assault.

A visiting Ontario Court judge from Toronto handed down the decision Wednesday afternoon.

In her decision, Justice Brown said the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Oster assaulted a youth at the Neebing Arena in January, 2013. He was off-duty at the time.

Three incidents

The judge said no witnesses saw the first interaction between Oster and the boy, and that the youth described it as 'just a brush'. She added that with the complainant using that description, she could not consider the interaction as more than a simple brush while passing by. The judge noted that even though Oster allegedly said to "watch out", and it was not a courteous encounter, it was not a proven act of assault.

Regarding a second incident, she said there was inconsistency in some of the testimony of two witnesses, and although it was a "bump", it still amounted to non-assaultive conduct.

Finally, with respect to a third incident, the judge said it was clear that Oster touching the young boy on the shoulder was more about getting his attention.

Using a stern tone of voice, she described Oster's behaviour as inconsiderate or rude, saying that he should have apologized when be bumped into the boy. She added that he should respect children as he would an adult.