Accused spoke ‘gibberish,’ struck officer, court hears
A video recording made during a police interview, which showed an accused child abductor standing up and talking gibberish, captured the moment the man was having an uncontrollable epileptic seizure, his lawyer says.
Det. Tyler Penner said when he tried to stop Timothy Shaw-Zak from exiting the interview room, the suspect struck him across the face.
Penner, with the assistance of Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor, took court through the video from the Westwinds Campus showing his brief Sept. 7, 2017, interview with Shaw-Zak.
Shaw-Zak had just been arrested after someone tried to snatch a nine-year-old girl from the back of her mother’s car beside a 12th Avenue S.E. dance studio.
But in his conversation with Penner, the accused seemed to have no knowledge of the incident.
“I was walking toward a meditation group along 12th,” the accused said when pressed to describe recent events.
“I also remember finding myself walking in the wrong direction,” he said.
“Then I saw some people and they said, ‘hey, hey, wait, wait,’ so I stopped. I had no idea what was going on.
“That’s all I remember today.” On the video, Penner then told Shaw-Zak those events would be insufficient for him to be in custody.
Shaw-Zak stood up and stared at the detective.
“I’m asking him to sit back down, but he’s responding in I don’t know what type of language, it’s gibberish to me,” Penner told Taylor.
Shaw-Zak reached toward the officer, then backed off and moved to exit the room.
Penner said when he went to stop the suspect, Shaw-Zak struck him across the side of the face.
Shaw-Zak, 35, faces charges of attempted kidnapping and assault causing bodily harm to the girl, who suffered bruising as her mother wrested her from the would-be abductor. He’s also charged with assaulting a peace officer for striking Penner.
Defence lawyer Alain Hepner will call expert evidence that Shaw-Zak was suffering epileptic seizures at the time and could not control his actions.