The Globe and Mail; With a report from Canadian Press
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
Two Saskatoon police officers accused of leaving an aboriginal man coatless
on the outskirts of the city in midwinter have been charged with unlawful
confinement and assault.
Constables Dan Hatchen and Ken Munson of the Saskatoon Police Service were
charged yesterday, said Sergeant Rick Wychreschuk, spokesman for the RCMP task
force investigating both that incident and the deaths of five aboriginal men
whose bodies were found in and around Saskatoon since 1990.
Darrell Night alleged that police drove him to a power station at the edge of
town in late January, took his jacket and told him never to return to the
Mr. Night managed to walk to the nearby power plant, where a night watchman
came to his aid.
His allegations led to the suspension of the two officers and triggered the
investigation into the deaths of the other five men. The officers have refused
to speak publicly about the allegations. But Constable Munson has said the two
certainly have their side of the story to tell.
The RCMP said unlawful confinement carries a maximum sentence upon conviction
of 10 years in prison, while assault carries a maximum five-year sentence.
Sgt. Wychreschuk said the two suspended officers surrendered to the RCMP
yesterday and were released on their own recognizance to await a court
appearance on May 3.
Saskatchewan's Justice Department reviewed the evidence in the Night case
before the charges were laid.
Sgt. Wychreschuk said the probe into the other five incidents is
After Mr. Night's allegations were made public, the Federation of
Saskatchewan Indian Nations and RCMP were flooded with calls about other
problems aboriginal people have had with police.
The federation said the allegations shook aboriginal people's faith in the
The frozen bodies of Rodney Naistus, 25, and Lawrence Wegner, 30, were found
on Jan. 29 and Feb. 3 in the same area where Mr. Night alleges he was
The RCMP task force is also looking into the 1990 death of Neil Stonechild,
who was found dead of exposure in Saskatoon's north industrial area, and the
deaths of Lloyd Joseph Dustyhorn and D'Arcy Dean Ironchild.