An off-duty Red Deer RCMP officer who threw a woman against a wall in a booze-fueled brawl outside a city bar last year was convicted of assault in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.
Judge Vaughn Myers granted Darren Gordon Ryan, 30, a conditional discharge as long as he completes nine months of probation and 100 hours of community service. Ryan must also report to a probation officer, take anger management and alcohol abuse programs if directed, and refrain from drinking alcohol for nine months. If he completes his probation successfully, he would not have a criminal record.
“Because someone acts like a bully, it doesn’t mean you are a bully,” Myers told Ryan, who sat glumly in court, dressed in a dark shirt and tie. Several RCMP officers in uniform came to support him.
While Ryan used excessive force on a woman half his size in the March 26, 2009, scrap, he has also done many things in his job that have benefitted the community, the judge said.
Ryan’s friends tried to keep him out of trouble by grabbing his lapels and pulling him away. But outside the bar, things heated up.
The officer was placed on administrative duties for about five weeks after the incident, but has been on regular duty since then. Red Deer is his first posting in a 26-month career.
His supervisors “have nothing but positive things to say about my client,” said defence lawyer Will Willms. Ryan was also involved in the rescue of an apparently suicidal man when he jumped into the chilly Red Deer River in early May and pulled the man to shore.
RCMP media liaison Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said it would be up to Ryan’s supervisors to decide if any further review is necessary. He is expected to remain on regular duty and has been doing an “outstanding job,” she said.