Red Deer sheriff accused of aggravated assault
A former Red Deer sheriff accused of attacking a mute cancer survivor inside the Red Deer courthouse will have his day in court.
Red Deer resident Bill Berry, 54, received the court’s permission on Thursday to lay a charge of aggravated assault against former Alberta Sheriff Thomas Bounds.
Berry alleges that the former sheriff assaulted him without cause while he was attempting to pay a traffic ticket at the provincial court counter.
An investigation by the Solicitor General’s Office’s Law Enforcement and Oversight Professional Standards Unit concluded that Bounds used “excessive” and “unjustified” force in the incident.
An RCMP investigation did not recommend charges.
Berry has been seeking charges since the Dec. 9, 2011 incident.
Represented by Calgary lawyer Michael Bates, Berry presented evidence in judge’s chambers on Thursday to support his allegation.
Bates explained that private informations may be laid by any citizen, subject to a judge’s scrutiny.
Provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser said such scrutiny is necessary to prevent frivolous or malicious charges from being laid by people who do not have the benefit of training and other resources available to police officers.
Bounds will appear in Red Deer provincial court on April 15.