Manitoba man jailed after assaulting same police officer on 2 separate occasions
Man bit police officer during arrest 2 days after being released from jail for earlier assault
A Manitoba man has been sentenced to time in jail after assaulting the same police officer twice during a period of less than six months.
Elvis Higheagle, 31, pleaded guilty to the second assault, as well as to uttering threats and mischief, in Brandon provincial court on Thursday morning.
Court was told Higheagle was at a home in Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, located south of Virden, Man., in October, where police were called to a report of a disturbance.
He had been released from jail just two days before, after serving a sentence for assaulting a Manitoba First Nations Police officer in July.
The same officer was among the MFNP officers who attempted to remove Higheagle from the home and arrest him in October, when he bit the officer on the hand, Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup told court.
The officer was wearing a Kevlar glove at the time and was not injured. Higheagle was charged with assaulting the officer, as well as for uttering threats and mischief.
"If he can't go two days without getting re-involved, you have to think that certain things outweigh the possible prospect of rehabilitation," Lonstrup said in his submissions. "Custody is where he has to be."
Higheagle had been given a four-month jail sentence for the earlier assault, and 30 days for mischief.
He was sentenced on Thursday to another six months in jail, less time already served, plus 30 days each consecutively for the uttering threats and mischief charges.
Lonstrup had asked for a six- to seven-month sentence this time.
"I think there are more significant factors in this particular case," he said.
"We are increasingly conscious of the fact that the stresses put on police in these situations … add up and mentally wear down the officers."
Court was also told Higheagle has a lengthy criminal record and suffers from a severe alcohol problem, but had started treatment, as well as anger management, while in custody.
"I'd like to apologize for what I did, especially to the cop," he said. "I'm very sorry."