Guelph police hope to fire officer who pleaded guilty to assault, hearing learns
KITCHENER -- The third day of testimony at a police service hearing has revealed that Guelph police hope to fire an officer who pleaded guilty to assaulting a teen in 2018.
The lawyer for the Guelph Police Service revealed that detail during cross examination of the officer’s former supervisor on Tuesday afternoon.
Const. Corey McArthur, the officer at the centre of the hearing, has been with the service since 2001.
Court documents revealed he’s been criminally found guilty of assault while on the job on two separate occasions. The current hearing relates to the second case in September 2016.
“I’m going to suggest to you there isn’t a single police officer in Guelph who has twice had a finding of guilt for assault,” said David Migicovsky, prosecutor for Guelph police, during cross examination.
McArthur is currently suspended with pay. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to a criminal assault charge after an incident that was caught on-camera at the Guelph General Hospital in 2016. The video showed the officer striking a 17-year-old who was restrained to a hospital bed. The teen kneed McArthur before he delivered the blow.
During the criminal trial, McArthur’s lawyer said that his client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the on-duty death of his colleague, Const. Jennifer Kovach in 2013. Kovach died after her police cruiser crashed with a Guelph Transit bus.
For the assault charge, McArthur was sentenced to a conditional discharge, three years probation and 240 hours of community service.
During Wednesday's police service hearing, McArthur’s former supervisor testifying that the officer was deeply affected by Kovach’s death.
“He was deeply affected by this event, probably feels a lot of guilt about that,” said Insp. Scott Green, during cross examination. “He was the one that made the call to cause Jennifer to head in that direction. That weighs on anybody. I know he has done a lot in his time off through his probation and community work.”
Two of McArthur’s former supervisors testified that they believe he is capable of returning to work with the service.
The lawyer for the police service asked Insp. Green if he knew the police service was looking to terminate McArthur. Green testified that he did not.
“Are you personally embarrassed that a police officer has had two findings of guilt for assaulting a member of the community while on duty,” asked Migicovsky during cross examination.
“It doesn’t bode well for our service,” testified Green.
Court documents revealing McArthur was also charged with assault after he arrested an individual for public intoxication in November 2008. The documents show he received an absolute discharge.
In the sentencing decision for the 2016 assault the judge wrote, “there were similarities between the 2008 and 2016 incidents. Both involved acts of violence and he was ‘amped up’ both times."
McArthur was also involved in a police service hearing for the 2008 incident. He plead guilty for discreditable conduct and was reprimanded to work 80 hours of additional shifts. McArthur wasn’t suspended during the 2008 criminal proceedings, but was reassigned to administrative duties.
Earlier this week, testimony also revealed that McArthur had been spoken to by his supervisors in 2007 about potential excessive use of force on the job after a number of complaints.
A decision for the police service hearing won’t be made until submissions are presented by both the defence and prosecutor.
The decision could be as late as February 2021.