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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tearful Toronto cop sorry for Taser threat

June 14, 2011
By SAM PAZZANO, QMI Agency (Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - A city cop who threatened to Taser two burglary suspects in the testicles to force them to surrender a cohort wept on the witness stand Tuesday as he apologized to his victims.

Const. Christopher Hominuk burst into tears at his sentencing hearing before Justice Hugh Fraser on Tuesday, while reading letters of apology.

He said his judgment and behaviour was affected by a hypoglycemic incident, which is characterized by dangerously low blood sugar levels.

An expert medical witness testified Tuesday Hominuk's actions were "compatible with hypoglycemic" events that can dramatically -- but temporarily -- alter a diabetic's behaviour from gentle to aggressive.

Hominuk said he felt "horrible and ashamed" after he vowed to use his Taser against the handcuffed suspects.

Hominuk, who was diagnosed at age 15 as a Type 1 diabetic, said he wanted to cry when he realized what he had done.

"I knew what I had done was wrong. You'll always get more information from people by being nice than threatening them," said Hominuk.

After being charged, he was stripped of his probationary sergeant status despite outstanding performance reviews for 11 months.

His 14-year career was exemplary and Hominuk was universally respected by both peers and commanding officers, court heard.

Hominuk's actions were captured on in-cruiser cameras, which showed him slapping Robert James Bolgan, 47, in the face and forcing him to lay down in the backseat.

Hominuk, 38, pleaded guilty in January to one count of threatening bodily harm in a May 24, 2010, incident involving two suspects, who were both sitting alone in separate cruisers.

As soon as Hominuk opened the cruiser door, he shoved his Taser into Bolgan's genital area.

Hominuk demanded to know the name of a missing suspect. Bolgan answered that he didn't know.

"If you are lying to me, when I get back to the station, I'm Tasering you in the f---ing nuts," Hominuk barked at Bolgan.

Bolgan had redness to the side of his face where he was struck, court heard.

Hominuk confronted his second victim, Roger William Bradshaw, 39, who was lying in a nearby cruiser's backseat.

Hominuk pressed his Taser into Bradshaw's neck and repeated his demand for the identity of the fugitive. When Bradshaw emphasized he didn't know him, Hominuk snapped: "If I find out you're lying, I'm going to f---ing Taser you in the nuts."

Bradshaw was unharmed. The Taser was never activated or used on either man.

Hominuk and other officers were investigating a break-in of some tractor-trailers when police arrested the two men and another suspect.

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