APTN National News
The Winnipeg First Nations man who alleged he was taken on a starlight tour by city police made it all up, Winnipeg’s police chief said Friday.
Evan Maud, 20, has been charged with public mischief, reporting an offence which has not been committed. He was released with a promise to appear in court on Feb. 14 , according to the charge sheet.
In a press conference Friday, Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill said Maud’s allegations were false.
“The investigation totally, 100 per cent, disproves the allegation,” said McCaskill. “It absolutely did not happen.”
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Ron Evans also attended the press conference and said his organization would be providing Maud with support.
Mike Sutherland, Winnipeg police association president, also attended the press conference and criticized the media, community groups and academics for running with Maud’s claims. Sutherland said Maud needed to apologize for making the false claim to the media.
McCaskill said police did encounter Maud in the area where he claimed he had been picked up, but the cruiser drove away. McCaskill said GPS tracking of the cruiser showed it did not leave its city district. Maud then boarded a bus 15 minutes later, said McCaskill.
“Officers approached him because he was in traffic,” said McCaskill.
Police also found surveillance video that showed him passed out the a city bus at about 5:30 a.m.
In an interview with APTN National News, Maud said he doesn’t remember getting on the bus depicted in the surveillance video. He said he remembered getting on a second bus later that morning and he was witnessed wandering the streets asking for bus fair to get to school.
Maud claimed he was picked up by two police officers in a black unmarked police car on Dec. 3 at about 4 a.m. He filed a formal police complaint on Dec. 11.
In his initial interview with APTN National News, Maud said one of the officers was wearing a bullet-proof vest and the other a police jacket.
He also described seeing a tinted shield separating the front from the back seats of the car.
Maud said he tried to keep track of how many turns the car took before he was dropped off, but lost count.
He said the officers took him on a starlight tour to the edge of the city where he was dropped off and given a sweater belonging to a high school football player. Maud said the officers took his own sweater and jacket.
McCaskill said police had proven that Maud took the football hoodie from a house and left his own sweater and jacket behind.
A starlight tour is a term used to describe a potentially deadly practice where police take people they think to be drunk and drop them off on the outskirts of the city to walk back home.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Evan Maud’s allegations have been proven false and he has publicly apologized to the Winnipeg police service.