2 complaints about Fredericton officer hitting pedestrian filed
Chief and citizen submitted complaints after witness raised questions about officer leaving scene
Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch has filed a complaint with the New Brunswick Police Commission regarding the conduct of an officer whose cruiser struck a pedestrian at a downtown crosswalk last weekend.
A citizen has also filed a complaint with the commission, which is an independent civilian body that investigates complaints about the conduct of any police officer in New Brunswick.
Both complaints were received on Wednesday morning, said executive director Steve Roberge.
Greg Collette said he saw the officer put the injured man in the back of his cruiser and drive away instead of remaining at the scene and calling for help.
"The police officer cannot make judgement on himself and state that what he did was right, or wrong. It has to go through a full investigation," said Collette, a Canadian Forces veteran.
The incident occurred on Saturday at about 10 p.m. at a marked crosswalk at the intersection of King and Westmorland streets.
A Fredericton Police Force spokesperson has said the pedestrian was treated in hospital for "very minor injuries" and released and that speed was not a factor.
I told them I was not going to the station, that they should be coming up to the accident where all the witnesses were, that we could all give statements.- Greg Collette, witness
The investigation is ongoing.
Fredericton police have refused to divulge their protocol for officers involved in a traffic accident.
RCMP have also refused to disclose their protocol, citing the ongoing Fredericton investigation.
Collette says he was on a restaurant patio at the intersection in question when the pedestrian was struck.
"We heard a loud thud, I immediately turned and seen a police cruiser across the crosswalk and a man laying in the street," he said.
"The pedestrian's shoe had came off and it had flew, I'm guessing somewhere in the vicinity of 20 feet, to the front of the cruiser … He was dazed, you could tell. When he stood up he couldn't stand straight, he was crouched over," said Collette.
"We witnessed the police officer exit the vehicle, move around front and apologize and saying that he was sorry, he didn't see him."
Collette says he called police, who told him to go to the station.
"I told them I was not going to the station, that they should be coming up to the accident where all the witnesses were, that we could all give statements," he said.
"We sat at the Mexicali Rosa's from just after 10 o'clock until closing, at midnight, and they had ample opportunity to come up and speak with any witness that was there, and no one did so."