Calgary

Man injured by Calgary police officers says he hopes they plead guilty to assault

Lawyers for three Calgary police officers charged with assault appeared in court on Wednesday as the Crown decided to proceed summarily — meaning the range of sentences is less if the men are convicted.

The 3 officers are accused of assaulting Clayton Prince in July

Photos show some of the injuries Clayton Prince sustained when he was arrested by Calgary police officers who now face criminal charges. (Clayton Prince)

The man who was badly injured by Calgary police officers during an arrest said he hopes they plead guilty as lawyers for the three accused appeared in court on Wednesday.

The officers are all charged with assault causing bodily harm and have all been suspended from CPS.

"I hope they plead guilty," said Clayton Prince. "I'm just glad the cops are off the force so they can't do that to anyone else."

The Crown decided to proceed summarily — meaning if the men are convicted, the sentences are less than proceeding by indictment.

The officers are accused of assaulting Prince, 34, in July during an arrest, leaving him with a collapsed lung and broken ribs.

Prince, who is from High Level, Alta., said he was in Calgary to attend a music festival.

He says he had just smoked marijuana when police pulled him over in a parking lot on Macleod Trail and was paranoid he would get in trouble so when police pulled up behind him in a parking lot, he ran from his car while officers chased him.

'They kept hitting me'

Clayton Prince says officers kept hitting him even when he was on the ground and couldn't move. (Clayton Prince)

"He drew his gun and I got down to ground right away with my hands behind my head," said Prince. "One officer got to me and started hitting me then a couple other officers got there and they were all hitting me, they kept saying quit resisting."

Prince said he was on the ground, immobilized and was not resisting.

"They kept hitting me for a couple minutes then they handcuffed me, picked me up and took me to the cop truck where they threw me inside and smashed my lip open."

"l told them I couldn't breathe," said Prince. "They didn't believe me."

Const. James Othen, 38, faces four charges including assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and two counts of public mischief, Const. Kevin Humfrey, 33, is charged with assault causing bodily harm and two counts of public mischief and Const. Michael Sandalack, 31, faces a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Other officers discover dashcam video 

The arrest took place on July 30 after an officer attempted a traffic stop on a white SUV in a parking lot around the 6700 block of Macleod Trail South.

Prince ran from his car and a short chase ensued before he gave up and was arrested.

The officers only came under investigation after video from a police dashcam surfaced that contradicted their accounts of the incident.

Other Calgary Police Service officers flagged the video to their supervisors, according to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.

'Best interest of justice'

The mischief charges relate to false statements two officers are alleged to have given that led to Clayton Prince being charged with resisting arrest. That charge against Prince was later stayed, along with a charge for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

The Edmonton Crown's office is prosecuting the case to avoid conflict but would not comment on the decision to proceed summarily.

"I have an obligation to make decisions that are in the best interest of justice,"  said Jim Stewart. "I won't comment on the exercise of my discretion." 

The suspended officers were not in court. 

The matter is back before a judge on Nov. 10.

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