OTTAWA -- An Ottawa police officer appeared to be "abusing his power" when he visited a disgruntled driver at home following an off-duty traffic stop, a police hearing was told Monday.
The driver, a woman taking her two children to daycare, said she was scared when a man she believed had cut her off pulled up behind her, got out of his truck and started coming towards her.
"I didn't know it was an officer. I just saw a large man coming towards my car," said Kendra Banks, 27.
The man pressed his police badge against the window, Banks said. When she rolled it down he started yelling.
"He didn't say much, but he did say one of his buddies was going to come and pay me a visit."
Banks was testifying at the hearing of Ottawa Police Const. Patrick Alden, who is charged with insubordination and discreditable conduct in connection with the off-duty traffic stop in January 2011.
The hearing heard Banks was driving along Hazeldean Rd. when she went to merge and a truck sped up behind her. She said she was forced to merge in behind the truck, and admits she honked and gave the finger to the driver.
The verbal exchange occurred while Banks was stopped at a red light at Terry Fox Drive.
Two days later, she opened her door to see Alden, in uniform and with a cruiser, and another male officer. She was handed a careless driving ticket and told her licence was under suspension.
"I didn't see anything right about what happened," said Banks, who filed a complaint. "Him coming there, it seemed like he was abusing his power."
Alden testified he was on his way to a Kanata rec centre when he noticed a vehicle start to move into his lane.
"I saw that I was going to be jammed or pushed over, so I immediately put my foot to the floor," said Alden. "I accelerated out of the danger."
Alden said their brief exchange was him telling her what he had seen, that he was an officer and he -- or a buddy -- would deal with it when he was back on duty. Banks swore at him as he walked away, he said.
He does not consider the incident a traffic stop.
Ottawa police policy says off-duty officers should not engage in traffic stops unless in "exigent circumstances." They should consider themselves witnesses and phone police or make a report for followup.
It is not the first time Alden has been before a disciplinary hearing.
In 2010, he was sentenced to forfeit three days pay in connection with breaching police policies.
Closing statements are expected on Tuesday.