Cop takes flak for arresting fellow officer
More than two years after a fellow police officer arrested him on impaired driving charges, a Halton cop appeared in a Toronto court Tuesday, where he fired his lawyer and asked the judge for more time to build his case.
Halton Regional Police Service Const. Breton Berthiaume was off duty on Nov. 28, 2009 when Toronto police Const. Andrew Vanderburgh pulled him over.
Vanderburgh drove Berthiaume to a Toronto police station, administered a breathalyzer test and charged him with impaired driving.
Some of the other officers at the 22 Division station didn't take kindly to one cop charging another.
There was name calling, including someone who said "rat" over the police intercom.
At the end of the night, when Vanderburgh was leaving the station in his cruiser, another police officer from 22 Division followed him in his own cruiser and pulled Vanderburgh over, giving him a ticket for running a red light.
The red-light ticket has since been dropped and the officer who gave Vanderburgh that ticket pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct and was ordered to forfeit 20 days pay.
Two other officers involved received similar penalties.
Mark Pugash, a Toronto police spokesperson, said that the charges were serious and were dealt with in a serious manner.
"The way in which these cases were pursued, the way in which the prosecutions were conducted and the way in which the decisions and the penalties were administered shows, absolutely clearly, the seriousness with which these were taken," Pugash said.
Court heard that it's been a difficult time for Vanderburgh, but he doesn't regret making the arrest.
For his part, Berthiaume will next appear in court in February, when he will argue that his case has been unreasonably delayed.
With files from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney