Rookie Cop Reportedly Berated, Called 'A Rat' For Arresting Off-Duty Officer
By David Schepp
May 30th 2012
Toronto police officer Andrew Vanderburgh felt he was doing the right thing more than two years ago when he arrested an off-duty fellow officer for drunk driving.
But after the Nov. 28, 2009 arrest, Vanderburgh was "harassed and berated" by fellow officers for seemingly violating an unwritten code among officers to remain loyal to each other, the Toronto Star reports. Other officers reportedly called Vanderburgh names, including "rat."
The off-duty cop, Breton Berthiaume, was charged with impaired driving and having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08 percent, according to an internal police disciplinary ruling.
Berthiaume reportedly had been driving erratically when Vanderburgh (pictured above) pulled him over. The arresting officer then took Berthiaume to the nearest police station where his blood alcohol level could be tested.
Some officers witnessing the arrest "took exception to a police officer being charged or investigated," prosecutor Mary-Anne Mackett told a court that heard Berthiaume's case this week.
A judge who previously ruled in the case in a pre-trial hearing said that an officer witnessing the incident "refused to assist Constable Vanderburgh in the arrest and preparation of paperwork at [the police station]."
Later that evening another officer, James Little, followed Vanderburgh as he left the station in his patrol car and pulled him over for purportedly running a red light, giving him a ticket.
The ticket was eventually dismissed and Little pleaded guilty to "discreditable conduct" and was ordered to forfeit 20 days' pay.
Two other officers, including a staff sergeant who failed to intervene during Little's retaliatory action, were also disciplined and were docked as much as 20 days' pay.