New Brunswick

Fredericton police contradict soldier's claims

Fredericton police are disputing the allegations of an off-duty Canadian soldier who said that he had no previous contact with police before he was roughed up outside a local nightclub.

Fredericton police are disputing the allegations of an off-duty Canadian soldier who said that he had no previous contact with police before he was roughed up outside a local nightclub.

Luc Begin, who is teaching at the infantry school at CFB Gagetown, claims he was mistakenly identified by staff at the Sweetwaters club in Fredericton's bar district for an individual who had caused trouble there two weeks earlier. Begin has said he tried to explain that to Fredericton police officers when he was jumped from behind.

Begin has filed a complaint with the Fredericton police and the New Brunswick Police Commission after alleging at least two local police officers assaulted him outside the nightclub.

Sgt. Scott MacKenzie, a spokesman for Fredericton police, said there was an incident July 10 connected to Begin's arrest.

MacKenzie won't release details, but he said police could still lay charges against Begin.

However, that contradicts what Begin told CBC News last week when he said that he had no history with the police.

Begin was not available for comment on Monday.

Dan Deveau, his fiancé's father, said Begin was with him on July 10, so he wasn't at the bar.

Begin had been celebrating his recent engagement when the altercation with police happened.

One officer involved in the incident has been suspended with pay until the RCMP investigation has wrapped up.

Begin, normally based at CFB Valcartier in Quebec, said he was supposed to be deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010. But the infantry private said he suffered a broken vertebra during the altercation and it could cost him his tour of duty.

Police statement 'changes nothing'

Michael Boudreau, a criminology professor at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, said the police went too far, even if they had a reason to arrest Begin.

"All a police officer has to do it place his or her hand on a suspect and they are officially and legally detained. There's no need to exert the kind of force that they did," Boudreau said.

"So in my mind, it changes nothing."

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