WATCH: Police officer testifies in viral road rage case
A Montreal police officer has testified that he felt his life was in danger the night he had a run-in with a Montreal man who is suing him in an alleged case of road rage caught on video surveillance that went viral in 2015.
Roberto Tomarelli filed a criminal complaint of intimidation and criminal harassment against Jeffery Pokora. Pokora also faces similar charges in connection with the online posting of the video.
Pokora meantime has asked that the charges be thrown out because it's taken too long to get to trial, citing the Supreme Court's Jordan ruling. He is also suing Tomarelli for $120 000 in damages.
Pokora said he confronted Tomarelli in January 2015 after claiming he saw the off-duty officer drive erratically in LaSalle and then calling 911 to report it. The video shows Tomarelli ramming his SUV into Pokora's car twice near Tomarelli's home.
Tomarelli is heard in 911 audio recordings calling for backup for a suspect in a car who may have a gun. Tomarelli's call is dispatched to a local police station for "an urgent call requesting aid for an officer in distress."
A fellow officer testified that about 20 officers showed up at the scene.
Tomarelli said he couldn't remember how many officers or police cars there were because he was stressed out, crying and calling his spouse at the time.
Upon cross-examination, Tomarelli was asked why someone who was trying to kill him would call 911. Tomarelli testified he didn't know who Pokora was calling.
Tomarelli testified he had to drop his civil case against Pokora and launch criminal proceedings because since he was off-duty that night, the city of Montreal could no longer represent him.
Tomarelli testified that he thought it was "appalling" and "unacceptable" that the surveillance video was posted online without permission and before the case was heard in court.
Tomarelli said the video led to a lot of curiosity-seekers on his street and officers assigned to keep an eye on his house. When asked if he was hurt or attacked in any way since the incident, Tomarelli said, "Thank god, no."