By Shurtz, Delon on June 15, 2020.
A southern Alberta man has been fined for causing a disturbance in Galt Gardens last September, when he challenged a police officer to a fight.
Jonathan Spearchief was drinking with others at a picnic table in the downtown park in the afternoon when an officer approached the group and advised them not to drink in public. They put their alcohol away, but Spearchief confronted the officer and began yelling, screaming and shouting “vile things about police.”
Spearchief pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of causing a disturbance for which the Crown and defence recommended a $750 fine.
Crown Prosecutor Bruce Ainscough told court the officer asked Spearchief during the incident to keep his voice down so as not to disturb other people using the park, including children. Spearchief responded by taking a “boxing stance” as if to challenge the officer to a fight. He was warned to behave or he would be arrested. He refused to comply with the officer’s directions, became more agitated, and was arrested.
“It’s obvious he disturbed a lot of people,” Lethbridge lawyer Claudia Connolly said.
Judge Jerry LeGrandeur agreed Spearchief caused a disturbance, but even though he was aggressive toward the officer, his actions did not warrant a $750 fine.
“How’s he going to pay that?” he asked counsel. “It’s a lot of money.”
Although Connolly said Spearchief has a job, LeGrandeur fined him $300 and pointed out that in addition to the fine, his record will include another conviction.
Spearchief also faces one charge of assault. He returns to court on that charge today.
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