02/21/2013 12:46 EST | Updated 04/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Winnipeg man sorry for claiming cops left him at city's edge

A man who lied to Winnipeg police and the media publicly apologized Thursday for accusing officers of taking him on a "starlight tour."

Evan Maud was 20 years old when in December 2010, he publicly accused officers of dumping him at the city's edge and forcing him to walk home in frigid winter temperatures without a coat.

A police investigation later revealed Maud's accusations were false.

Officers did stop Maud on Dec. 3, 2010, for walking in the middle of a roadway, but after running his name through their system, they let him go.

The GPS tracker on the officers' police cruiser showed it never left its district, and Winnipeg Transit video surveillance showed Maud getting on a bus shortly after being stopped by police.

Maud was later charged with public mischief and agreed, as part of a restorative justice process, to issue a public apology in order to have his charge stayed.

He had already apologized to the two officers involved and the police service over the summer, but he issued a public apology on Thursday.

No explanation offered

Maud read aloud a written apology to members of the Winnipeg Police Association and the media on Thursday morning, but he stopped short of explaining why he made up the story.

"I want people to understand that I did not intend for all of this to happen," he said.

"I'm sorry for jeopardizing the reputation of the Winnipeg Police Service."

Now 22 years old, Maud said he is part of a youth group and wants to be a role model for young people.

He said he has since graduated high school and is now enrolled in a welding course.

Maud said he didn't mean to damage the reputation of Winnipeg's police force, and said he hopes it won't impact real victims in the future.

"I don't want this to impact anyone from submitting legitimate claims in the future," said Maud.

He said he now realizes he affected more than just the police.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs stood behind Maud when he originally made the accusations. At the time, the incident formed a major rift in relations between aboriginal organizations and the police.

But Maud never offered an explanation for why he fabricated the allegations and lied to so many people.

His uncle, Joseph Maud, said that information hasn't been shared with him either.

"Whatever the circumstances, only him and the Creator know what happened that night," he said.

Police accept apology

The Winnipeg Police Association accepted his apology, with one representative saying Maud has made a brave move.

George Van Mackelbergh, the association's vice-president, said he hopes Maud and the police force can move past the incident.

"Mistakes are made, and we can come together and treat them for what they are," said Van Mackelbergh.

"In this case, I firmly believe this was a good person who made a bad decision."