Alberta sheriff used 'excessive' force on mute man
Security video shows cancer survivor forcibly removed from Red Deer courthouse
The hard of hearing, mute man who was roughly ejected from a Red Deer, Alta., courthouse wants to see more action against the sheriff who removed him.
An investigation by the solicitor general's office found Thomas Bounds used "excessive" and "unjustified" force against Bill Berry, 52, officials confirmed on Thursday. Bounds no longer works for the provincial government.
Last December, Berry inadvertently entered the Red Deer courthouse through an open exit door, instead of going through a security screening. He was there to pay a $140 speeding ticket he received while driving to a medical appointment in Red Deer.
Surveillance footage shows Bounds grabbing and dragging Berry back to the exit.
Berry, a throat cancer survivor who breathes through a tube in his neck, fell to the ground as Bounds manhandled him.
Berry tried to communicate through hand signals as he laid convulsing on the floor.
During the altercation Berry’s breathing tube became dislodged, putting him in medical distress. Another sheriff replaced it.
Red Deer RCMP later investigated the incident at Berry’s request. A Crown prosecutor concluded charges weren't warranted in the incident, police said.
But Berry said the sheriff should be charged with aggravated assault.
"His actions nearly killed me," said Berry in a text message interview.
Berry's lawyer 'exploring' legal action
He said he was sore and bruised all over after the attack, adding he was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I'm [a] nervous wreck," said Berry. "On pills to calm me down."
He also thinks one of the other guards present should be charged because one was kneeling on his lower chest and another was pinning him down.
Berry said he has received no word why charges aren't being pursued.
Alberta Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said Wednesday that Bounds no longer works for the government.
"Well, it's never a positive thing when you see someone who has been injured. I'm happy he wasn't seriously injured. I'm hoping that the remainder of this can be resolved without issue," he said.
Denis said he could not comment further because Berry might be pursuing litigation against the province.
"I like to think my counsel is exploring all options," said Berry. "I have informed her to push the envelope hard."