OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation man

OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation man

By Donna Sound
APTN National News
OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation man

An Ontario judge also found OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille not guilty of public mischief.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit( SIU).

Gary Megan, who alleged he was manhandled by the officer, said still wants to see justice done.

“I want him to be held accountable for him slamming me to the floor for no good reason,” said Megan after the verdict came down May 3.

“I was grounded to the cement floor of jail cell while my hands were handcuffed behind my back,”  he said.

Megan also does not want anyone else to go through what he did.

Megan, 42, was arrested for public intoxication outside The Blue Lagoon bar in Geralton, Ont., as he was waiting for a cab home.

Megan was injured and had to be taken to hospital.

Megan testified in court that “he was knocked out.”

Megan had to return to the hospital a second time where he had to get a CT scan and it was discovered he had a serious injury to his face and bone around his eye.

“The next day my eye is swollen shut, my face is purple and my eye and my cheekbone is cracked,” Megan said.

Megan said this incident has really affected him. Now, if he sees a police officer, he will wait unit the officer leaves before he gets out of his vehicle.

“I will never feel the same towards cops, I am scared for my wife and kids now too.  I almost feel like they will be targeted now as a result of complaining to the SIU,” he said.

Megan said he thinks the incident stems from an obscene gesture he gave to another officer.

During the April 8 trial Bellefeuille, who pleaded not guilty, defended his actions saying Megan resisted arrest.

“He absolutely did not resist arrest,” said his wife Delia Okees.

She also said there is video to prove this.

Megan is from the Aroland First Nation in northern Ontario.

Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said he’s not happy with the outcome.

“I am appalled by this matter.  Our First Nation has major concerns about what happens when First Nations people call 911 for help,” he said.

The SIU is the agency that probes incidents involving police where serious allegations against them are called.

Gagnon is calling for a system-wide review of police services because of the rising number of serious complaints in Northern Ontario.

The OPP has confirmed to APTN National News that constable Bellefeuille had been suspended, with pay. It is likely he will be reinstated to his duties now that he has not been found guilty of the charges against him.

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Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.