Linked Header

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Police Officer On Trial Tells His Side Of The Story

A police officer on trial for assault, assault causing bodily harm and uttering a death threat admits to "rabbit punching" a suspect in the head but claims it was in self defence.

Chris Messer testifying he thought Randy King might have been involved in a break-in on Messer's home but that's not why he punched him.

According to Messer, King uttered expletives against him and his son then started fighting with the police officer.

 Messer says he didn't use any more force than necessary nor did he utter any threats. King on the other hand says the police officer stomped on his chest.

The closing arguments will be delivered to the judge this morning.

Traffic At a Standstill on Union

More traffic delays due to construction at Union and Crown Street--traffic is currently at a standstill.

CTF Reacts To Audited Finacial Statements

The provincial deficit is smaller but the net debt in this province is up to 10 billion dollars.
Those numbers from audited financial statements from the Alward government.
Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation tells CHSJ News its a cop out to blame changes in some of the numbers on the cost of dealing with provincial flooding and increases to pensions.

He says helping people with flooding is a necessary expense and he says the government hasn't done anything to reform pensions and the millions its costing New Brunswickers won't change.

The Finance Department says spending was down by $128.8 million marking the first time in the last 11 years that expenses decreased from the year before.

15-Year-Old Facing Dirt Bike Drinking Charges

A 15-year-old Caraquet boy facing several charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving with a dirt bike.

It's part of an RCMP investigation into a group of ATV's and dirt bikes that were traveling along town streets over the weekend.

RCMP are still looking for the other drivers that were traveling late Saturday night along Saint-Pierre Boulevard in Caraquet, some without their headlights on.

The 15-year-old was released into the custody of his mother and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

Sea Dogs Hit The Ice Tomorrow

It's back to business for the Saint John Sea Dogs!

The team starts their training at Harbour Station on Wednesday, and their practices and scrimmages are open so fans can get a sneak peak at the line up.

Head Coach Mike Kelly tells CHSJ news they're putting a lot of focus on their younger players this year. Kelly calls this a transition year for the team, and he hopes the young guys learn a lot from the returning players.

Kelly says the veteran players won't be part of this training camp for another two weeks while they top up on some extra training.

Kelly adds the teams sharp new third-jersey is being unveiled at Friday’s QPLEX pre-season game with the PEI rocket.

Police Officers Testify At Trial Of One Of Their Own

The trial of city police officer Chris Messer heard what happened on the night Randy King was arrested. King claims Messer punched him several times to his head in the back of a police car.

Constable Don Shannon was working undercover in September of 2010 and followed King from Metcalf Street to Greendale where he was stopped and placed in the back of Messer's patrol car. King was wanted by the RCMP for a break and enter.  
Back at detention, Shannon says he booked King whom he describes as co-operative, even docile and did not hear any complaints from him about his treatment.

King was later taken to hospital. A paramedic's report describes King as uncooperative but does state he had minor abrasions and complained about pain behind his right ear. 

There was also testimony about an encounter with Brett McAdam in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire in September of 2010. McAdam alleges Messer threatened him.

McAdam's car had been flagged by Messer for possibly being involved with breakins along Westfield Road.

Mike King, who lives along Westfield Road, told the court a car matching that description stopped in his driveway and he had seen the driver get out and look in the window of his home.   

Constable Neil Fowler told the court he searched McAdam's car in the parking  lot of Canadian Tire and found an address book with the names of drug dealers.  

There was a private conversation between Messer and McAdam at the side of the store. Fowler testified after that was over, McAdam told Messer "If I hear anything, I'll let you know" and there was nothing in how they were acting which indicated anything out of the ordinary.

No Criminals At City Hall

Folks with a criminal past might have a tougher time getting involved in local politics....Councillor Susan Fullerton is pushing for criminal record checks for people on all of city boards and commissions. 

According to Fullerton checking when people apply isn't enough, because they could still commit offenses while sitting on the waiting list for a board or commission. But the common clerk, Elizabeth Gormley pointed out there are legal issues for delving into potential employee's pasts without a legitimate and lawful reason.

Currently, the Police Commission requires a check but others do not. Fullerton says if someone is representing the city in any capacity, it's not appropriate for them to have been involved in any criminal activities.

Get A Glimpse Inside The Paramount

The Paramount Theatre has become a local symbol of Saint John's often-struggling arts scene...and a new documentary by Saint John's Hemmings House Pictures is putting the abandoned theatre in the international spotlight. 

Hemmings tells CHSJ News their new movie, The Paramount, celebrates Saint John's cultural history by hearkening back to the glory days of live shows and movies at the historic Art Deco theatre. It also includes exclusive footage of what it looks like inside today: which is, according to Hemmings, not that bad.

Hemmings says he expected the Paramount to be torn down by the time the film was released. Hee's hoping it will give the restoration effort a new lease on life by showing off the theater to potential investors.

 Some of the documentary is available online by clicking here. The first broadcast of The Paramount will be exclusively aired on CBC Atlantic, Saturday August 25th at 8pm.

City Look Into North End Crowbar Attack

City police looking into a assault in the North end involving a crowbar.
It happened on Matthew Lane on Monday afternoon.

A 32 year old man was sent to hospital treated and released while a 35 year old man is facing charges of assault with a weapon and is due in court later.

If you know anything about this incident or any other, contact City police at 648-3333 or Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.  
Or click here

Conflicting Testimony At Trial Of City Police Officer

There has been contradictory testimony at the trial of city police officer Chris Messer who's charged with assault, assault causing bodily harm and uttering a death threat.

Randy King, who remains in jail, told the court in September of 2010 Messer accused him of breaking into his Westfield Road home and punched him in the back of the head from 6 to 10 times as well as placing his boot on his throat. 

Constable Allen Craig and retired Police Sergeant Gary Boyle told the court they saw Messer place his foot on King's chest after he struggled in the back of a police car to put handcuffs on him. Both also testified King did not appear to be injured and did not complain to them about being punched.

Firebugs Beware: Crackdown On Abandoned Buildings

It's obvious we've got a firebug running around the North End, according to Councillor Susan Fullerton. Common council deciding the city needs stricter fines for property owners who neglect buildings and allow fire hazards to fester. 

Fire Chief Kevin Clifford tells CHSJ News police are looking into as many as four suspicious fires in the North End and people are scared, and while they've succeeded in closing some of the files it's a moving target.

The new by-law would crack down on property owners who ignore warnings to clean up their act. Councillor Donnie Snook and others stressed fire prevention doesn't always mean tearing buildings down, but giving more incentives to restore them. 

Meanwhile, council decided putting down topsoil and grass seed to beautify existing abandoned lots is too expensive.

New Bike Route To Link Communities Together

A bike route between Tucker Park and the urban core could be built as soon as 2013--that from common council, where city staff pledged to create a plan for the so-called Campus-Harbour connection proposed by Uptown Saint John, which is putting up $10,000.

The Environment Committee's Anne McShane tells CHSJ News the bike route will make uptown a more appealing destination for cash-strapped students and others--because, of course, not everyone has a car. Further, she says the route will also be great for Crescent Valley and the North End because it will link the communities together.

She says they're hoping to start building by 2013. Councillor Donna Reardon and others said they were pleased to support more active transportation routes in the city.

Community Garden Celebrates Milestone

The community garden in Crescent Valley celebrating 20 years in existence today.

The green space was created when residents partnered with the Department of Social Development. Today, 12 garden plots are shared between 19 families. Mayor Mel Norton says it's a great way to build and beautify the community.

Garden members will be enjoying a BBQ at 5pm and prizes will be awarded for 1rst, 2nd and 3rd place plots.

Four More Warrants To Go In Oland Case

With five warrants down there are still four more to go in the murder investigation of Richard Oland.

The release of specific information was debated behind close doors by lawyers on Monday. Judge Leslie Jackson deciding there will be a publication ban on information until Thursday morning. At that time media lawyer David Coles is scheduled to give his say on what information should be released to the public.

The prosecution isn't giving any comments until after the hearings are over.

Since the murder over a year ago no information on Oland's death have been given out.