Politics

Police not pursuing charges following security incident on Parliament Hill

A 24-year-old man will not be charged following an alleged security incident on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during the Changing of the Guard ceremony Monday morning.

Ottawa police have taken the lead on the case

Members of the Ceremonial Guard march off Parliament Hill following a changing of the guard ceremony in Ottawa on June 24. A 24-year-old man has been charged following an alleged security incident on Parliament Hill during the ceremony Monday morning. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa police now say a 24-year-old man will not be charged following an alleged security incident on Parliament Hill during the Changing of the Guard ceremony Monday morning.

"An incident took place this morning at 10:15 on the lawns of Parliament Hill, during the Changing of the Guard parade," the Department of National Defence said in a statement Monday.

"Due to the quick reaction of our soldiers, RCMP and Parliamentary Protective Service, the potential threat was identified and neutralized. No one was injured during this incident." 

DND originally said the incident involved "a man with a knife." A spokesperson for Parliamentary Protective Service later said that a "small pocket knife" was found "in proximity to the subject" following his arrest.

In a tweet Monday and a statement issued Tuesday morning, Ottawa police said they had charged Jesse Mooney with assault and breach of probation related to the Hill incident. However, later Tuesday afternoon police said they would not be pursuing charges in the matter.

Mooney appeared in court Tuesday on unrelated charges stemming from a separate incident on Sunday.

Raw cellphone footage of Parliament Hill arrest

4 years ago
Duration 0:18
Michel Harvey was on Parliament Hill watching the Changing of the Guard Monday when he managed to film this video of police arresting the suspect.

Michel Harvey, who was visiting the region on his vacation, said he was watching the Changing of the Guard when he saw a man cross a safety barrier, yelling.

Harvey said the man moved toward a member of the Parliamentary Protective Service — not a Ceremonial Guard member — before being apprehended by police. 

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeted that he was briefed on the incident.

The online publication Vice first reported the news Monday afternoon.

Security changes after 2014 shooting

The Changing the Guard takes place almost every morning on Parliament Hill from late June through late August.

The soldiers in the Ceremonial Guard are drawn from the Governor General's Foot Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guard and are mostly university and college students who are reservists in the Canadian Forces.

The public duties of the Ceremonial Guard include protective detail at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

It also supplies guards to stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the cenotaph in Ottawa, perform Guards of Honour for visiting heads of state, take part in military functions and perform public concerts to promote the Forces.

Security on the Hill was increased after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's October 2014 shooting rampage. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the war memorial, was killed.

Zehaf-Bibeau was eventually gunned down after making it into Centre Block.

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