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Bruce McArthur denies assaulting man in previously unreleased 2016 police interview


WARNING: This story contains graphic details

A newly released video of a 2016 police interview with serial killer Bruce McArthur details the version of events he provided to investigators after being accused of assaulting a man in the back of his minivan in a Tim Hortons parking lot less than two years before he was charged with murdering eight men.

The video was initially presented as an exhibit at the disciplinary hearing for Sgt. Paul Gauthier, a Toronto police officer who was charged under the Police Services Act in connection with his handling of a complaint made by a man who accused McArthur of attacking him in June 2016.

In August, Gauthier was found not guilty of the two charges he faced- insubordination and neglect of duty- but a court ruled Monday the Toronto Police Service improperly withdrew the police interview as an exhibit at the disciplinary hearing for Gauthier. The court decided that the video should be released to the media despite objections from the prosecution and Gauthier’s defence team.

“The failure in this case to produce the exhibits requested by the applicants until after the hearing concluded contravened the open hearing principle,” the decision read.

The police interview was conducted on the night of June 20, 2016, just hours after a complainant came forward to police and accused McArthur of attacking him during a sexual encounter in the back of a van in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons near Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue.

The identity of the complainant is protected under a court-ordered publication ban.

The police interview with the man who accused McArthur of assault was not captured on video but in previously released court documents, the complainant reported that during the encounter that evening, McArthur “got a look of anger on his face” as he tried to pin the man’s arms down and strangle him.

“The victim begged McArthur to let him go although it was hard to breathe because McArthur was crushing his larynx,” the court documents read.

The man told police that he was able to break free from McArthur’s grasp and exit the van.

He immediately called 911 and McArthur drove off, the documents said.

McArthur was questioned about the incident in an 11-minute police interview, which was led by Gauthier.

Bruce McArthur is shown in this undated photo.

“Choking was the allegation made and that is basically why you are under arrest today,” Gauthier could be heard saying in the video.

After he was informed of his rights, McArthur confirmed to Gauthier and another officer in the room that he did not need a lawyer present and wished to give a statement to police.

During the interview, McArthur said that he and the complainant agreed to have sex in the back of his Dodge Grand Caravan that evening.

McArthur said at one point, the complainant asked him to pinch his genitals "as hard as he could."

“So then I thought, ‘Ok, he likes it rough.’ So I put my hand to his throat.”

After this, he claimed the complainant decided to turn around and grab McArthur by the throat.

“He said, ‘And now I'm going to show you what I'm going to do to you’ and he had me by the throat to the point that I couldn't breathe,” McArthur told the officers.

“So I put my hands up in the air like I surrender because I couldn't talk and that's when he finally let go.”

McArthur said the man then abruptly “jumped out of the car.”

According to McArthur, the man got into his car and he could hear him say something about contacting 911.

“I thought, ‘Oh god, he's calling the cops’ and so I got out. And then he got out and walked around and was taking my licence plate and that and so um that's when I got kind of uptight and got into the car and drove off,” he said during the interview.

“Then the more I thought about it, I thought, ‘Well I should go and give my side of it.’ But I could not think for the life of me where a police station was in that area.”

McArthur said he ultimately ended up at a police station on Eglinton Avenue but when he spoke to an officer there, they told him there was no record of the complaint.

“She said she ran my name and she said there is nothing coming up on the screen,” he said.

McArthur said he knew the victim for two or three years but did not know his last name.

“I thought he liked it rough,” McArthur told Gauthier.

When Gauthier asked McArthur if he believed the victim would have sustained injuries during the encounter, he replied, ‘I don’t think so.’

McArthur confirmed that the two met every two or three months and when asked if anything had ever become violent before, he said they had not.

“We had had sex numerous times and never had a problem,” McArthur said.

While some follow-up questions were asked by Gauthier during the interview, McArthur’s version of events went largely unchallenged.

McArthur was subsequently released after his story was deemed to be credible.

Less than two years after the incident in the Tim Hortons parking lot, McArthur was arrested and charged with the murders of eight men who disappeared between 2010 and 2017. He pleaded guilty to those murder in January of 2019. Top Stories

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