Ac­cused spoke ‘gib­ber­ish,’ struck of­fi­cer, court hears

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - KEVIN MAR­TIN [email protected]­ Twit­ter: @KMart­inCourts

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.

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