Man should have apol­o­gized: Judge

Judge sen­tences man who evaded ar­rest in St. Marys to four months be­hind bars

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - TERRY BRIDGE STAFF RE­PORTER

A judge blasted a man for not writ­ing an apol­ogy let­ter to a Strat­ford po­lice of­fi­cer after break­ing her fin­ger while evad­ing ar­rest.

While a fe­male of­fi­cer was at­tempt­ing to ar­rest Dy­lan Chap­pel in down­town St. Marys last month, the court heard he pulled his arm out of her grasp, bent her right mid­dle fin­ger back­wards and broke it. Even after be­ing hit with a Taser, Chap­pel was able to es­cape for sev­eral hours be­fore po­lice found him in Strat­ford later that day and ar­rested him.

After en­ter­ing guilty pleas to two charges Wed­nes­day morn­ing, in­clud­ing re­sist­ing ar­rest and es­cape from cus­tody, de­fence lawyer Amy Robern said her client “feels very badly” about the of­fi­cer’s in­jury and at­tempted to write an apol­ogy let­ter, but didn’t feel he could prop­erly ex­press him­self.

“’I’m sorry’ is al­ways a good start,” On­tario Court Jus­tice Kathryn McKer­lie in­ter­jected.

As­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Ge­orge Chris­takos said he knows the of­fi­cer per­son­ally and “that prob­a­bly would have meant a lot” to her. He added he was “dis­ap­pointed” a let­ter wasn’t writ­ten while Chap­pel sat in pre­sen­tence cus­tody.

“It could’ve been. Mr. Chap­pel chose not to,” McKer­lie re­sponded.

Min­utes later she sen­tenced Chap­pel, 23, to four months in jail.

The court heard an ar­rest war­rant was is­sued for Chap­pel on Oct. 26 for break-and-en­ter and breach of pro­ba­tion charges. Ex­actly one week later, the fe­male of­fi­cer was driv­ing in St. Marys as a con­tract was about to kick in for the Strat­ford force to take over the town from the OPP.

The of­fi­cer, who knew Chap­pel and was aware of the war­rant, saw him at the in­ter­sec­tion of Queen Street East and Church Street shortly after 9 a.m. She told him he was un­der ar­rest, but he ar­gued the va­lid­ity of the war­rant, the court heard.

His back­pack was re­moved and placed on the ground, and then the of­fi­cer – she was alone at the time – de­manded he place his hands be­hind his back. After her fin­ger was bro­ken in the al­ter­ca­tion, she pulled out a Taser and in­structed Chap­pel to put his hands be­hind his back and face the wall.

When he re­fused, she used the weapon.

“The de­ploy­ment was suc­cess­ful. How­ever, due to the bulk of Mr. Chap­pel’s jacket the ef­fect was un­suc­cess­ful and Mr. Chap­pel fled on foot,” Chris­takos said.

Un­able to find him, the of­fi­cer re­turned to the sta­tion with his back­pack, which con­tained a large flick knife and dog spray.

Chap­pel

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