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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Edmonton officer wants disciplinary charges stayed - Wasylyshen’s lawyer argues alleged Taser incident nine years old

August 12, 2011
Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - There is another delay in the disciplinary hearing of an Edmonton police officer charged with unnecessary force in a 2002 Taser incident.

Const. Mike Wasylyshen was charged in the Oct. 5, 2002, incident during which teenager Randy Fryingpan was allegedly Tasered eight times in 68 seconds.

Wasylyshen also faces a charge for hitting Fryingpan in the head and three insubordination charges for alleged violations of police procedure.

Wasylyshen’s lawyer, Robert Hladun, was scheduled to deliver his closing arguments on Friday. That was put off until November after Hladun filed a judicial review in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

He hopes the court will give the hearing’s presiding officer, Supt. Paul Manuel of the Calgary Police Service, the authority to throw out the disciplinary charges because the incident took place nine years ago.

If the application succeeds, the authority to stay the charges would be in Manuel’s hands.

“Right now, my client just wants to take advantage of the law everyone else can take advantage of,” Hladun said after the hearing.

In previous testimony, Fryingpan said he still has nightmares and takes painkillers because of injuries sustained by eight Taser strikes. He said he had several drinks that night at a friend’s birthday party, after which he and three companions climbed into a parked Oldsmobile “to smoke a joint” at about midnight or 1 a.m.

Wasylyshen was one of five officers who responded to complaints of an attempted car theft. The Taser was used during Fryingpan’s arrest.

After the 2002 incident, Wasylyshen’s father, then-police chief Bob Wasylyshen, decided no internal disciplinary action would be taken against any of the officers present during the arrest. But in 2009, the Law Enforcement Review Board ordered police Chief Mike Boyd to lay several charges against Wasylyshen.

Wasylyshen was not present at Friday’s hearing, which is scheduled to resume Nov. 29.

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