Two Toronto officers alleged to have consumed marijuana while armed and on duty ate a hazelnut flavoured chocolate bar infused with cannabis oil seized during a dispensary raid, then each had to be taken to hospital, according to newly released police documents.
Among the revelations contained in police tribunal documents is that criminal charges laid against seven people during a raid on a west-end cannabis clinic were withdrawn as a result of allegations the two officers now face.
Toronto police Const. Vittorio Dominelli, 36, and Const. Jamie Young, 35, briefly appeared before a police disciplinary tribunal Tuesday, each facing multiple counts of professional misconduct under Ontario’s Police Services Act.
The appearance comes on the heels of criminal charges laid against the officers: one count each of breach of trust and attempting to obstruct justice stemming from a January incident.
Documents filed at the police tribunal Tuesday shed new details on the incident — including that the officers are alleged to have been so affected by the drugs that each was taken to a separate hospital for treatment.
According to the hearing documents, which are called the notice of hearing, the officers were both in plain clothes duty on the evening of January 27 when they participated in the execution of a search warrant at Community Cannabis Clinic, located on St. Clair Ave. W.
Young was in charge of seizing the all the property within the dispensary, while Dominelli is named in the documents as the arresting officer, who charged then released seven people located within the clinic.
Officers then catalogued and packaged the cannabis-infused chocolate, according to the documents, and Young is alleged to have “failed to account for some of this chocolate seized at this search warrant.”
“The quantity listed on the property tag and submitted did not match the true amount seized… In so doing, you committed misconduct in that you knowingly made or signed a false statement in a record,” the documents state.
About six hours later, Dominelli and Young finished their work on the dispensary raid and were reassigned to conduct surveillance, the documents state, noting the officers both had all of their use of force options including firearms.
“While on duty… you consumed some of the chocolate containing cannabis oil,” both Young and Dominelli’s notice of hearing documents allege.
About two hours later, the officers both determined they needed help — Dominelli making a 10-33 call — meaning an officer needs assistance — while Young called 911, the documents allege. Dominelli allegedly said he felt he was going to pass out as he ran up Oakwood Ave.
Toronto police back-up and Toronto paramedics then arrived, the documents state, and Dominelli was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Young initially could not be found, but was soon located and taken Humber River Hospital.
Meanwhile, another officer responding to the call for back-up slipped on the ice, causing a head injury and had to be taken to hospital, the tribunal documents state.
Police later found the two officers’ belongings and located one empty and two full packages of the cannabis chocolate “matching ones seized by the search warrant,” the documents allege.
Dominelli had blood drawn at the hospital, and an analysis done at the Centre of Forensic Sciences later indicated the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), “a psychoactive compound in cannabis,” the documents show.
Making separate appearances before the hearing officer Insp. Mike Barsky, the officers, both dressed in dark suits, said little beyond confirming that they were given ample notification for the hearing. Dominelli faces a four misconduct charges, while Young faces six.
Neither officer entered a plea, and both waived having the details of their alleged misconduct read aloud in the public hearing.
The professional misconduct proceedings will be put on hold pending the conclusion of the officers’ criminal trial.
Last month, Dominelli’s lawyer Peter Brauti told the Star his client is “obviously very embarrassed in relation to the allegations.”
“Immediately after the incident occurred, we attempted to address the situation with the Toronto Police Service,” Brauti said.
Neither Brauti nor Young’s lawyer Harry Black were in attendance at the tribunal Tuesday.
The officers have been suspended with pay since Jan. 28. Dominelli has 13 years of experience with Toronto police, while Young has two-and-a-half years.
The criminal charges the officers face carry the possibility of jail time upon conviction. If found guilty at the tribunal, the officers could face anything from a formal reprimand to dismissal from the Toronto Police Service.