Memories of a bad night rekindled six years later

Campbell River man undergoing cancer treatment regrets fighting with officer, offers to pay for broken watch

Michael Scott isn’t proud of his behaviour that drunken night when the RCMP constable offered him a ride home and he responded by punching the officer.

That was more than six years ago, but it took until Monday for the 42-year-old to be sentenced.

Scott was arrested that night, but later released from custody, and then moved from Campbell River. Authorities didn’t catch up to him until last January when he was back in Campbell River and tried to tell police he was someone else.

Since then, Scott has abided by his bail conditions as he continues an ongoing battle with cancer. On Monday, he was sentenced after pleading guilty to assaulting a police officer and obstruction.

As a result of his illness, Judge Ted Gouge declined to send Scott to jail and instead placed him on a seven-month conditional sentence order to be served at home.

“That one incident basically ruined me,” Scott told the judge.

In early March 2007, RCMP Const. John Clemens was called to a disturbance at a 4th Avenue apartment complex. There, around 4:30 a.m., he found a highly-intoxicated Scott banging on doors.

Const. Clemens told him to stop and leave, but once outside the apartment, Scott started ringing buzzers. Again the officer told him to stop and even offered Scott a ride home.

Scott responded by punching Const. Clemens. A struggle ensued and witnesses reported hearing and seeing the officer tell Scott several times to lie down.

Scott, however, continued to battle the officer who twice used pepper spray on his attacker and then his baton. Scott was finally subdued when two other officers arrived on scene.

Scott was charged with assaulting a police officer, but the case came to a halt when he left Campbell River.

Then, on Jan. 25, 2013, another RCMP officer spotted a green van parked outside the 7-Eleven store in Willow Point. The officer noticed the driver wince as he looked his way and decided to investigate further.

A check of the licence plate indicated the vehicle should be impounded, so the officer approached the driver and asked for his information.

It was Scott behind the wheel, but he gave the officer a fake name. He also told the officer that Michael Scott had loaned him the van, but was in hospital.

Further checks could not turn up the identity of the fictional name and it turned out that no one named Michael Scott was in hospital. However, as Scott was arrested, the officer noticed that he made sure to grab medication he required from the van. The name on the prescription medication was Michael Scott.

As well, at the detachment, a photograph of the detainee was shown to Const. Clemens who identified Scott.

According to defence lawyer Brian Dybawd, Scott made a poor decision to try and fool the officer and did so after taking some cancer medication.

Venturini told Judge Gouge that Campbell River RCMP want Scott jailed. However, given his medical condition, she suggested a conditional sentence.

Dybawd suggested the same, adding that Scott’s health could deteriorate if he was jailed. The lawyer added that Scott’s health appears to be improving – he’s also “clean and sober” – and is working towards setting up his own marine engine repair business.

Scott said he’s tried to apologize to Const. Clemens, but understands the officer didn’t want to meet with him.

After receiving the seven-month conditional sentence, Scott offered to pay for Const. Clemens’ watch which broke during the scuffle. Venturini said she would pass along the information.