July 20th, 2024

Charges are bogus, accused tells judge

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 28, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 42-year-old Lethbridge man who refuses to have a bail hearing, will remain in custody on criminal charges he doesn’t believe exist.

During a hearing Wednesday in Lethbridge court of justice, Tyson William Closs refused help from his lawyer and insisted the charges against him are bogus.

“There is no criminal charges against me,” Closs told the judge.

Justice Erin Olsen pointed out, however, that the accused faces several sets of charges, and told him he has a couple of options.

“Mr. Closs, what do you want to do for next steps? Do you want to enter pleas today of guilty or not guilty and set these matters for trial?”

“Obviously ma’am I’m not guilty,” Closs responded.

Closs is charged with four counts of mischief and single counts of failure to comply with release conditions, theft under $5,000, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and assaulting a peace officer.

“They’re all lies,” Closs said. “I am a cop. I know for a fact that those charges don’t exist and those charges are nothing but lies.”

Closs, who said he has been in custody since March 11, also declined the judge’s offer to have a bail hearing.

“What bail hearing? There are no charges, ma’am. I’m telling you the truth. I am a cop, these charges are bogus.”

Closs said he had been in Calgary on March 7 and after he returned to Lethbridge he went to the library where he was arrested for trespassing.

Even though he refused a bail hearing, he told the judge he won’t remain in custody long.

“I’m not gonna be staying in this facility because there’s no charges pending.”

When the judge asked Closs if he knew what day it is, he gave the correct date, and in response to a question about whether he was taking any medications, he said he wasn’t.

“I’ve talked to a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist…said I don’t need any medication.”

Even though Closs refused to enter pleas, Olsen noted he had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge of assaulting a peace officer and one charge of mischief. She pointed out he is scheduled to stand trial on April 9, and asked if he wanted to proceed with the trial.

“I’m definitely not guilty, I definitely never assaulted no officer. It happened to be a charge from 23 years ago; I beat two cops up outside Goose Loonies 23 years ago, and other than then I’ve never assaulted an officer.”

Closs claimed he was assaulted by an officer about two and half months ago in the entrance to a bank, and he was accused of spitting on an officer in the library.

“Which is absolutely false,” he said. “There’s video footage out to prove that.”

Olsen pleaded not guilty on his behalf to the rest of the charges, and they were referred to the case management office to set trial dates.

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