Warning graphic content: Video released during the attack on a Hamilton police gas station

Video of a man being violently arrested at a Hamilton gas station where he was allegedly assaulted by a Hamilton police officer has been released.

The disturbing video, which was released during the 32-year-old’s bail hearing earlier this week, shows four plainclothes officers working to arrest Patrick Tomchuk and bring him to floor. He is punched and kicked before he appears to lose consciousness. That’s when one of the officers stomps on Tomchuk’s head.

There is no publication ban in the case and The Spectator has sought judicial permission to access the video, which was released on Friday. The video has been edited to remove profane language.

Tomchuk’s family and members of the Indigenous community have called for the video to be made public.

The 32-year-old man, who is Indigenous, was arrested at a gas station on May 26. He faces multiple charges including possession of property obtained by crime related to three allegedly stolen vehicles, disqualified driving and felony charges. He is also charged with assault and resisting arrest.

However, when Hamilton police saw the video of his arrest, they immediately suspended Const. Brian Wren. In June, Wren was charged with assaulting Tomchuk.

At Tomchuk’s bail hearing on Wednesday, his lawyer Jenn Steenbeek played video taken by a witness at the gas station.

Some of Tomchuk’s family members left the courtroom before the reading due to the graphic content. Those who remained wept.

At the bail hearing, Justice of the Peace Linda Crawford said officers appeared to beat Tomchuk unconscious in the video. “The police assault will undoubtedly lead to trialable issues” in this case, she said.

The court heard Tomchuk has a full record which includes convictions for auto theft, possession of stolen cars and dangerous flight from police. The Crown argued that he was likely to re-offend and could pose a danger to the public if released.

Crawford agreed, but found that the bond plan the family put in place mitigated that risk. It includes house arrest and Tomchuk living under the constant watch of two cousins. They also put him in touch with addiction and trauma programs at the Hamilton Regional Indian Center.

The court agreed to release Tomchuk on bail, but he was taken from the courthouse in Niagara where he faced separate charges. The 32-year-old is released from Niagara on Friday.

“I think (the video) just needs to be shown and people need to know it’s happening,” Tomchuk’s sister Dhelia Baldwin said in court.

The case has drawn heavy criticism and calls to improve the way police interact with Indigenous and other communities. Hamilton police have pledged to make changes and are reviewing any past encounters Tomchuk may have had with officers.

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