Sarkoon Oraha, victim of assault by Toronto Police Const. Bryan Thomas, who, on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, was found guilty of the attack in a road rage incident.
Credits: Michele Mandel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
Const. Bryan Thomas, 44, was convicted June 12 of assault causing bodily harm for punching and breaking the jaw of driver Sarkoon Oraha, 44, on Oct. 2, 2010. Judge William Horkins sentenced Thomas on Tuesday to 90 days in jail, to be served intermittently on weekends.
"This was not a case of road rage, but a case of excessive force by an off-duty police officer," Horkins said. Oraha was weaving in and out of traffic on Hwy. 400. when he tried to pass Thomas on the shoulder and nearly hit him twice.
Thomas had his girlfriend and two young daughters in the car and, after flashing his badge, pulled Oraha over. On the side of the road, Horkins said Thomas delivered "multiple blows" to Oraha's head, breaking his jaw as witnesses looked on "horrified." Horkins said Oraha didn't fight back and numerous witnesses called 911 to report the assault.
The judge said to not sentence Thomas to jail time would send the entirely wrong message to the public and to police that such behaviour by officers is tolerated. "They must know there will be harsh consequences," said Horkins, who then wished Thomas good luck.
Thomas rolled his eyes and was taken into custody as his lawyer, Jimmy Lee, immediately launched an appeal.
Lee said Thomas has been suspended without pay. He is due for a bail hearing Tuesday.
It will be up to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to decide if the officer is reinstated if he receives bail while awaiting his appeal.