Pot-eating cop an ‘idiot,’ judge says
Constable stole choc bar laced with marijuana in raid
A Toronto police officer who stole and ate a marijuana-laced chocolate bar seized during a pot-shop raid was a “complete idiot” for tampering with evidence, a judge said Friday as the man pleaded guilty.
Vittorio Dominelli, a 36-yearold constable who resigned from the force this week, pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct justice in connection with the January incident.
Justice Mary Misener said Dominelli’s actions were on the low end of the spectrum when it came to evidence tampering, but were nonetheless significant.
“From the point of view of public interest, the impact is profound,” she said.
“The conduct here you cannot describe as anything other than stupid.”
Misener added the fact that Dominelli had taken a marijuana-infused item was not the issue.
“He might have taken cough syrup or a pair of woolly comfortable socks that he wanted to try on his feet,” she said. “It’s interfering with evidence.”
Dominelli, the son of a longtime Toronto officer and a father of three, was part of a team that raided an illegal marijuana dispensary around 5 p.m. on Jan. 27, according to an agreed statement read out in court by Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter.
The officer, armed and dressed in plainclothes, agreed to go get pizza for the squad as they were going through the pot shop, court heard.
While walking out of the store, Dominelli saw several cannabis oil-infused chocolate bars, which he pocketed.
He and his partner, Const. Jamie Young, went to a nearby pizza place where Dominelli began to have second thoughts about taking the chocolate bars, Perlmutter said.
Dominelli told Young about his reservations and wanted to leave the bars at the pizza place but his partner disagreed with his idea, court heard.
After the raid was concluded around 11 p.m., Dominelli and Young were reassigned to conduct surveillance on an afterhours bar, court heard.
The pair chatted about how neither had tried cannabis, court heard.
“He assumed it would be a minor mellow feeling,” Perlmutter said, reading from the agreed statement of facts. “He did not think consuming a small amount would impair each officer.”
The pair consumed all eight squares of one chocolate bar while on their surveillance mission and became “seriously intoxicated,” court heard.
Young has been charged with attempting to obstruct justice and breach of trust in connection with the incident, but the allegations against her have not been proven in court.
Dominelli said he initially didn’t feel anything but after about 20 minutes, the effects of the cannabis hit him “like a ton of bricks,” court heard.
“He was sweating heavily and believed he was going to pass out,” Perlmutter told court.
Dominelli thought he was going to die, court heard. He asked his partner to radio for help, but she refused.
The officer eventually grabbed the radio from his partner, ran up the street and called for help.
“Send an ambulance,” a breathless Dominelli tells the dispatcher on the call, which was played in court.
When questioned by the dispatcher, Dominelli is heard saying he’s going to pass out.
When other officers rushed to the scene, one of them slipped on ice and suffered a severe head injury, court heard.
Marijuana-laced chocolate bars are shown at a pot shop in Toronto during a raid in this evidence photo. A Toronto police officer who ate one of the seized bars has pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct justice.