Two Montreal police officers charged with dumping homeless man near Ontario border

Two Montreal police officers have been charged with forcible confinement, assault and uttering threats for allegedly forcing a homeless man into a police cruiser, driving him off the island of Montreal and leaving him there in 2010.

Officers charged with forcible confinement, assault and uttering threats for 2010 incident

The two officers have been suspended with pay. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Two Montreal police officers were arrested Wednesday and will face charges of forcible confinement, assault and uttering threats for allegedly forcing a homeless man into a police cruiser and dumping him near the Ontario border.

According to Radio-Canada, the two Station 20 officers, Patrick Guay, 33, and Pierre-Luc Furlotte, 35, turned themselves in at the Sûreté du Québec headquarters early Wednesday afternoon and have been released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.

Guay and Furlotte have been suspended with pay.

SQ Sgt. Claude Denis told CBC News the charges relate to an incident that took place in March 2010. 

He did not offer any further details.

However, Radio-Canada has learned the officers are alleged to have forced Tobie-Charles Angers Levasseur, whom they had often encountered on their downtown beat, into a cruiser and driven him off the island of Montreal, leaving him near the Ontario border.

Angers Levasseur managed to get a ride back to downtown Montreal with a passerby, according to Radio-Canada.

Internal affairs case reopened

Montreal police Insp. Ian Lafrenière told CBC News the incident was investigated by the internal affairs division of the Montreal police service (SPVM) in 2010, but no charges were laid.

Radio-Canada reports that at that time, a former SPVM chief inspector, Costa Labos — then second in command of internal affairs — decided to drop the matter. That's in spite of the fact that the incident should have ranked as a high priority investigation, given that the officers are alleged to have driven off SPVM territory while on duty.

Labos was suspended from the police service last August.Radio-Canada reports his suspension is connected to his handling of that incident. Labos has not been charged.

The investigation into the 2010 incident was reopened by the joint task force that was mandated last year to review internal affairs complaints involving the SPVM, Lafrenière said. 

Old Brewery Mission outraged

Lafrenière said the SPVM reached out to its partners who work with people living on the streets to reassure them they take such complaints seriously.

The Old Brewery Mission's director, Matthew Pearce, said he was outraged by the allegations but is hopeful that training sessions with police officers will help avoid situations like this in the future.

"This year our objective is to train 900 police officers, and we're training each and every recruit, so that holds promise for me," Pearce said.

Mayor Valérie Plante told reporters Wednesday the allegations, if true, are "deplorable" and "intolerable."

Plante said Montreal police have improved in their knowledge and sensitivity towards people living on the street in recent years.

With files from Radio-Canada's Pascal Robidas and CBC's Navneet Pall