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Marystown man convicted of assaulting police officer 


Jeffrey Charles Simms of Marystown has been found guilty of assaulting a police officer.

Judge Harold. J. Porter convicted Simms at provincial court in Grand Bank on Monday.

The case stems from an incident on Sept. 20, 2015, when Const. Shawn Peddle and Const. Mario Ouellet of the Burin Peninsula RCMP were parked outside the Home Hardware store, next door to the Marystown Hotel, in a marked Chevy Tahoe.

An alleyway runs between the two businesses leading to a bar called the Pub Beau Bois.

According to evidence presented during the trial on Feb. 8, Const. Ouellett parked there in an effort to deter people from drinking and driving. It was a warm evening, so the officers had the truck windows down.

“Some patrons of the club and hotel spoke to the police officers as they walked by the police vehicle,” it was noted, in Porter’s written decision.

Just after 4 a.m., a couple came up to the Tahoe’s passenger side and asked if the officers could give them a ride. During the conversation, Simms came up to the driver’s door.

“The accused made some vulgar remarks to Const. Ouellett about the woman,” wrote Porter. “The man of the couple made a remark to him (Simms) along the lines that he was lucky that the police were there.”

Officers noticed Simms was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol. Peddle advised him to move on.

Simms ignored the request and proceeded to put his hand in the window of the Tahoe. When asked to take his hand out, he made a rude remark about Peddle.

“Const. Oullett advised the accused that … it would be in his best interests to leave and then put the window up,” Porter noted.

Simms squatted down and grabbed the vehicle’s running boards and started shaking the truck. Ouellett got out to see what Simms was doing — the accused told the officer that the truck was “too heavy for the road.”

The officer advised the man to move along.

Ouellett was getting back in the vehicle when Simms slammed the door on the officer’s left leg.

Both officers got out, arrested the man and took him to the Marystown detachment, where he was held under the Detention of Intoxicated Persons Act. 

“It is to be noted that Const. Ouellett and Const. Peddle displayed great restraint and professionalism throughout their dealings with the accused,” Porter wrote.

“The accused was given multiple opportunities to leave the area, but persisted in remaining at the scene. Even after the accused had been shaking the police vehicle, the police officers were content to let him find his own way home. Despite this, the accused then assaulted Cst. Ouellett.

“Cst. Ouellett is to be commended for his patience and self-control in dealing with the accused, who was becoming increasingly more obnoxious.”

Porter said the officers involved did not believe the incident was an accident, but rather a deliberate act by Simms.

“I agree,” Porter wrote.

“There is no doubt that the accused applied force to the police officer’s leg with the truck door, and there is no doubt that it was intentional. Given the evidence, the accused must be convicted of the offence,” Porter wrote.

Simms will be back in court March 29 for sentencing.

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