OPP officer could face jail time over off-duty road rage incident
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:40PM EDT
An OPP officer could be facing jail time for an off-duty road rage incident that happened in 2016.
Sgt. Rui Pacheco was in court Thursday for his sentencing hearing.
The defence in the case wants a conditional discharge. The Crown disagrees, calling for Pacheco to spend one or two months in jail, saying the attack was a public and brazen one.
The man was convicted last fall and found guilty of assault after a judge ruled that he was the aggressor in the incident.
A judge heard that he was driving along Dundas Street 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 that he was the aggressor and at all times was controlled and dominating.
The victim’s wife gave a victim impact saying that day was the worst day in her life, calling the attack malicious and heartless. She spoke about how she now has a constant fear of police and first responders.
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.
The Crown says Pacheco is not the victim in the case and that this wasn’t just a fight but a beating, one where an off-duty officer failed miserably at upholding a higher standard.
Pacheco was originally suspended with pay when he was charged in early 2016. He then went onto long-term disability after he was diagnosed with PTSD.
The judge heard that he retired in March 2019.
A sentence will be handed down on May 30.