Kingston, Ontario – A 49-year-old man from Niagara Falls but recently residing in Kingston is facing multiple criminal charges, including being in possession of a stun gun disguised as a cell phone, after an observant patrol officer initially noticed a simple licence plate violation.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on October 4, 2016, the Kingston Police officer was westbound on Princess Street near Alfred Street in a marked cruiser when he observed a black General Motors SUV travelling in the opposite direction with no front licence plate. As the vehicle passed the officer noticed it had an Ontario plate on the rear. Highway Traffic Act legislation requires a front and rear plate be attached for vehicles registered in Ontario.
The officer turned around and stopped the vehicle at Princess Street and University Avenue. After running the licence plate on the MTO database it showed it was supposed to be attached to a Volvo sedan, not an SUV. Upon approaching the vehicle the officer observed a male driver, a female in the front passenger seat and a male passenger alone in rear seats. The male passenger wasn’t wearing his seat belt and when the officer asked for identification the man stated he didn’t have any on him and was only able to verbally provide a name, date of birth and address.
The officer ran the given name which provided no results in any police or licencing database. Upon further investigation and discussion the officer formed reasonable grounds the male passenger was providing a false name and was arrested for obstructing police. When the man exited the rear seat officers observed a jacket, multiple cell phones and knives. Inside the jacket was a wallet showing photo identification of the same male passenger but with his true name. Also found was a Correctional Service of Canada parole card, and upon running his name on CPIC officers discovered the man was on a Recognizance out of the Niagara Falls area to remain in his residence. He was also on a weapons prohibition order from a prior conviction involving multiple weapons.
The man was transported to police headquarters and lodged in cells to attend a bail hearing the following day. When taking inventory of his personal effects an officer noticed one of the cell phones appeared to be fake, similar to a display model found in a store. Upon closer inspection they were able to flip a switch and depress a button with caused an electric current to discharge from the top of the device and arc between two probes. The accused is facing charges of obstructing police, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, and two counts of breach of Recognizance.
Police regularly come across what initially appear to be innocuous and harmless items, but have instead been modified or produced to be disguised weapons or hidden storage areas. Some of these have included belt buckles as knives, necklaces containing a handcuff key, transparent Fentanyl patches affixed to identification cards, and another cell phone capable of discharging ammunition. This is why officers need to be constantly alert and not to take any of these or similar objects at face value.
Kingston Police Service