A judge in Canada this week lashed out an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer for causing “catastrophic injuries” to a 49-year-old woman who he said was acting as a “Good Samaritan.”
During the trial that lasted longer than a year, the court heard how Maria “Tonie” Farrell responded to a woman screaming behind a convenience store in 2013, according to QMI Agency reporter Tracy McLaughlin.
When OPP Sgt. Russ Watson arrived on the scene, Farrell attempted to point the officer in the direction of the man who had been attacking the woman, but he refused to listen.
“Shut the f*ck up,” Watson warned.
“Mrs. Farrell was acting as Good Samaritan who went to the assistance of a woman who was being assaulted,” Justice George Beatty said this week. “She had no criminal record and wanted to assist Sgt. Watson.”
“Watson kicked her to the side, a karate-kick that snapped her leg,” the judge explained, adding that “Watson then jumped on her and punched her on the left side of her face. She turned face-down and Sgt. Watson kept kneeing her in the back.”
With her leg dangling, and screaming from the pain, Farrell was handcuffed and placed in the police cruiser. She was later charged with assaulting a police officer.
Watson testified that he suspected that Farrell was under the influence of alcohol, and that she “took a poke” at him.
“Sgt. Watson provided no explanation as to how Ms. Farrell’s tibia was broken, or indeed, the reasons for the bruises on her legs and arms and the loss of a tooth,” Justice Beatty noted. “His notes did not record the hammer strike to her left eye, which was basically a sucker punch … he suffered no injury and her injuries were catastrophic.”
“Police officers are trained and experienced in handling people who may be intoxicated, drug addicted, mentally ill, armed or violent. They apply their psychological skills and use the minimum of force in maintaining the peace and protecting the public,” Beatty said. “That did not happen in this case.”
In the end, the judge exonerated Farrell.
“This is the best Christmas present ever,” Farrell, who is still forced to walk on crutches, said outside the court. “I’ve been going through hell … but I knew the truth would prevail.”
Watson refused to produce his notes from the case to the Special Investigation Unit, which declined to press charges against him.
“Our records show he came in for an interview but he would not provide his notes,” SIU spokesperson Jasbir Brar told the QMI Agency. “That is within his legal rights.”