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Police say firm hand in arresting skateboarder was justified

Instagram video of man's arrest making the rounds on social media
Greater Sudbury Police arrested and charged a skateboarder who was allegedly trespassing downtown on July 19, but it's the video of that arrest that has the city talking.

Greater Sudbury Police arrested and charged a skateboarder who was allegedly trespassing downtown on July 19, but it's the video of that arrest that has the city talking.

Videos posted to both Facebook and Instagram have been circulating, showing the man, Adam Gemus, being arrested following a physical altercation with a Greater Sudbury Police officer, one of the constables who patrol the downtown core on a bicycle.

The incident occurred at around 9 p.m. on July 19 in front of the provincial building on Cedar Street.

In the video, the officer can be heard telling the man to "get down on the ground," with the man replying, "I didn't do anything."

An altercation ensued, with the officer pulling the 33-year-old by the arms and appearing to strike him in the face.

Gemus' Instagram post of the video includes a comment from him saying, "I had been skating all over downtown, I stopped to sit on a bench and look at my phone, then this guy rolls up telling me skateboarding is illegal, I'm like no its not there's no by law that says skateboarding is illegal, then he says your (sic) trespassing then!"

The officer in the video has not been identified, but a statement from GSPS indicated that he was on bike patrol of the downtown core when he came across a man skateboarding on the property of 159 Cedar Street.

"There are clear signs that state, 'No Loitering', as well as, 'No Cycling or Skateboarding. Violators will be prosecuted'," said a statement from GSPS.

"The officer dismounted his bicycle and approached the man informing him that he was engaging in prohibited activities on a premises contrary to the Trespass to Property Act. The officer asked the man to identify himself as the man has a legal obligation to provide this information, he refused."

Under the Trespass to Property Act which is an Ontario statute, there is an obligation for the violator to identify themselves when asked and a parallel arrest authority for the officer. 

"The officer informed the man that he was under arrest after failing to identify himself and advised the man to get on the ground in order to safely handcuff him and affect the arrest," said the GSPS in their statement.

"The man resisted the arrest by pushing down on and grabbing at the officer. The man refused to comply with the officer's instructions." 

Gemus' Instagram post has him saying that he was never cautioned and that the officer struck him without any provocation.

"So I got up and was trying to leave, that's when he grabbed me and I was trying to get the **** away, I had no warrants or anything, no cautions. He punches me in the face and pulls me back when I'm trying to leave and avoid the whole situation," said a comment from Gemus.

In a statement issued on July 24, Greater Sudbury Police said the man involved in the incident did not report any injuries at the time of the arrest or after the arrest was made.

On his Instagram however, Gemus posted a number of photos of scrapes and scratches, commenting "This is what police do to you when you sit on a bench on the sidewalk in your own neighbourhood, I allegedly trespassed, assaulted the police and obstruction, I can tell you 100 per cent I did not assault any police."

The man in the video was transported to headquarters and charged with assault a peace officer and resist police officer. He was released on a promise to appear scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 5. has reached out to Gemus for comment but we have not received a response.


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