‘Fair compromise’: OPP officer charged in off-duty road rage incident gets sentenced
An OPP officer charged in an off-duty road rage incident in 2016 has been sentenced.
Sgt. Rui Pacheco was sentenced to 45 days of house arrest on Thursday.
The judge ruled that the officer’s post-traumatic stress disorder warranted rehabilitation rather than jail time. Pacheco’s lawyer, Leo Kanahan, says the sentencing seems fair.
“It’s a fair compromise. We asked for conditional discharge but His Honour rightfully turned around and said it’s difficult under the set of circumstances that we found ourselves in,” Kanahan explains. “But given Mr. Pacheco’s history he wasn’t deserving of jail on this either. So it’s a fair compromise, in my estimation.”
He was convicted last fall and found guilty of assault after a judge ruled that he was the aggressor in the road rage incident.
A judge heard that he was driving along Dundas Street in Cambridge when someone driving a truck cut him off then pulled into a grocery store parking lot.
Witnesses testified that Pacheco followed the truck, confronted the couple inside and threw the first punch.
Pacheco threw multiple punches and kicked the man in the section before he left. He was overheard saying, “Road rage happened.”
The judge ruled at the time that he was the aggressor and at all times was controlled and dominating.
The defence says that Pacheco was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that it was ignored by the OPP. The defence also says that, if it weren’t for the actions of the driver, Pacheco wouldn’t have become unhinged in the moment.
Pacheco will be allowed out of the house daily from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to go to the gym as part of his PTSD rehab.
Otherwise, he will only be allowed out for four hours on Tuesday afternoons for the necessities of life.
The sentence came down as a conditional sentence—after 45 days, Pacheco is subject to 12 months of probation.