View Full Version : Cop guilty but ...

10/21/2004 12:40pm,
Edmonton police officer Const. Vince Pillay was found guilty of assault yesterday for angrily slapping a "confrontational" city man in the face after being called a *****. However, Pillay - acquitted in February after being accused of slapping around a drunk man 18 hours following this assault - was given an absolute discharge and will not get a criminal record.

Provincial court Judge Norm Rolf called Pillay, a 14-year police veteran, "an exemplary police officer as far as the court is concerned" and ruled his being found guilty of assault shouldn't end up with him losing his job as a cop.

"This was an error of judgment and should not result in the registering of a conviction," said the judge.

Rolf stated it is understandable Pillay, 42, was angry over the "gross insults and ongoing verbal aggression by Mr. Kris Bona," but said the South African-born police officer should have backed away from the confrontation instead.

"You could say that Const. Pillay took the bait and committed what is technically an assault," said Rolf.

The judge acquitted Pillay's partner, Const. Tim Ryan, 38, of assault stemming from the same Jan. 4, 2003, incident.

Bona, a 28-year-old welding apprentice, had testified that Ryan swore at him, tackled him and dumped his ID on the ground before Pillay kicked and punched him.

Rolf criticized Ryan for calling the unco-operative Bona either a "f---ing asshole" or a "prick," saying it was "a completely inappropriate response" by Ryan.

"Police officers must have thicker skin than that and their police training is such that they shouldn't respond in such a fashion to fools," said Rolf.

But the judge ruled Ryan did not use excessive force when he detained Bona and took control of him.

"It was a mistake, but not an assault," said Rolf.

Both Pillay and Ryan declined to comment after court, however Bona spoke to reporters outside.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised by the verdict," said Bona. "I really have no beef with the police, it's just these two individuals, that's all."

City police spokesman Andy Weiler said an ongoing internal disciplinary process involving Pillay, who is currently doing front-desk duty, will resume now that the case is over.

Court heard Bona was waiting for a ride to work outside his 10735 103 St. apartment about 6:20 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2003, when Ryan and Pillay drove up looking for a suspect who had abandoned a stolen truck after a pursuit.

Bona testified he was upset with the way Ryan had asked him if he had seen a man run by and so he said he didn't know and wasn't going to do the job of police for them. That led to Ryan swearing at him and the incident escalated.

When the cops were about to leave, Bona called Pillay a ***** and was then struck in the face.

Pillay testified yesterday he slapped the "agitated" Bona because he was "in his comfort zone" and he was concerned Bona would spit at him or head-butt him.

After the slap, Pillay told court he retreated and said to Bona: "Are you going to call me a ***** now?"

Crown prosecutor Robert Bassett said he was satisfied with the verdict, but wanted a conditional discharge.

"I was of the view (Pillay) would benefit from anger-management counselling," said Bassett.

On Feb. 20, Pillay was acquitted of assault after being accused of hitting a drunk man in a West Edmonton Mall security cell about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2003.

Provincial court Judge Jeanne Burch ruled the Crown failed to prove Pillay used excessive force when he used two head stuns to subdue the unnamed man, whom Pillay claimed had cocked a fist and spit in his face.

Five WEM security guards, including one who is now a city cop and one who is a recruit, testified they saw Pillay use an open hand to strike the man up to six times. None of the guards said they saw the man spit at Pillay or have his hands in anything but a defensive pose.

However, Burch said Pillay's version was reasonable.


10/21/2004 12:44pm,
It was only a matter of time, before it came to that. That's all I can say.

10/21/2004 12:49pm,
Hard to say from that desription what is the truth...

But police forces (and politicians) should exist to serve the people, not vice versa, which they don't always remember.