ALBERTA

Simona Tibu Guilty Of Assaulting Peace Officer And Resisting Arrest

04/15/2015 04:58 EDT | Updated 06/16/2015 05:59 EDT
An Alberta woman whose arrest for speeding was caught on a dashcam video has been found guilty of assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and obstruction.

Simona Tibu, 40, was convicted in a courtroom in Camrose Provincial Court Wednesday morning.

The Camrose dentist was charged after being pulled over by a peace officer in August 2013 while she driving from Camrose to Edmonton.

The dashcam video, which has no sound, shows Sgt. Robert Behiels speaking to Tibu through the driver's side window. He eventually opens the door and motions for her to exit her vehicle.

Once Tibu stands up, Behiels can be seen pulling a cellphone from her hand and the two struggle. Behiels forces the woman's arms behind her back before reaching inside his jacket for handcuffs.

Tibu appears to pull away from Behiels, who grabs her by the wrists and swings her out toward the highway before slamming her against the car twice. Tibu is seen yelling as handcuffs are put on her wrists.

The video runs a total of 10 minutes. It was only released following a CBC request to make the recording public. The judge initially denied the request, but the video was released after an appeal.

Witness cites excessive force

A volunteer firefighter who saw part of the incident, told court Tibu was screaming "help me" while she was being arrested.

He said he called 911 at the officer's request. He testified that he did not see the officer strike or punch Tibu, even though he told the dispatcher that he thought the force being used against the woman was excessive.

"Now he's getting really violent with her," he told the 911 dispatcher.

Tibu was taken away from the scene in an ambulance.

During his testimony, the officer compared Tibu to a feral cat, saying she tried to bite him and attempted to grab his genitals.

Tibu testified she was the true victim in the incident, saying she had a panic attack during the arrest and thought her life was in danger. The encounter left her traumatized, she told the court.

A sentencing hearing will be held on June 17.

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