KELOWNA – A Kelowna man says a local RCMP constable assaulted him during an arrest at a downtown pub after 13 hours of drinking last summer.
Const. Grant Jacobson pleaded not guilty to criminally assaulting John Patrick McCormick, 61, on the patio of Rose’s Pub in Kelowna at around 2 a.m. June 28, 2014. Surveillance video from the pub shows Jacobson take McCormick's drink away before putting him on the ground, striking him in the ribs with his fist three or four times until other officers arrived and McCormick is picked up and carried out of frame. The video had no audio.
“I asked Const. Jacobson… what’s going on and he says to me ‘none of your business’, I said excuse me I’m just asking a question. He goes fuck off, and I said, you fuck off,” McCormick told Judge Gregory Koturbash today, May 25. “He took my drink, put it on the table and attacked me. The next thing I knew I was on the deck.”
Jacobson is expected to say McCormick was resisting arrest and tried to grab his gun.
McCormick lives in Kelowna but was raised in Scotland, speaks with a strong accent and admits to being a regular at the downtown pub.
“Everyone knows my name,” he said. “They call me Irish even though I’m Scottish.”
McCormick says he arrived at Rose’s around 1 p.m. and didn’t leave until his arrest after 2 a.m. He says he only had five or six drinks in the 13 hours he was there.
“I was there, socializing,” he said. “I’m a very slow drinker, I do not chug a lug.”
McCormick, who at times became belligerent with defence lawyer Norm Yates, says Jacobson punched and kicked him during the arrest. He testified that he never swears, yet surveillance footage from the detachment during booking shows him repeatedly swearing at officers.
“I was upset… and I swore,” he finally admitted after seeing the footage. “I never laid a finger on him.”
Photographs of McCormick show some minor scrapes to his cheek, his back, hand and above his eye.
Rose’s head of security Richard March called McCormick “a regular” at the pub, and testified he has been thrown out for unruly behaviour on more than one occasion. Within the last two weeks, he was banned from the pub but had his privileges recently reinstated.
“When he’s had too much to drink he becomes a little vulgar in his language and tends to get in arguments with people,” he testified.
McCormick has prior convictions in Alberta including two separate assaults, a theft and arson from a time he burned down his own house in Edmonton. He was sentenced to 18 months probation.
“Everyone gets into trouble,” he said. “I was depressed. I just lost my job. I was a loser.”
As recently as one week ago, McCormick was also taken into police custody after a disagreement with his roommate. He admits he was removed from the home in handcuffs but disputes the reason police were called.
“He said I threatened him with a knife. That’s a lie.”
McCormick took issue with much of what was said in court Monday, and Judge Gregory Koturbash had to instruct him multiple times not to interrupt.
“Am I being prosecuted here?” he asked repeatedly. “It seems like I’m on trial.”
At the end of the first day of the two-day trial, he was seen crossing the street to Rose’s Pub.
“I’m gonna go there after this interrogation to have a few beers and unwind,” he told Koturbash.
The trial continues Tuesday morning.
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