A Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) constable with a history of charges and disciplinary hearings was charged this week with assault and mischief under $5,000 stemming from an incident that saw the window of another driver’s car punched.
Const. Nathan Parker was suspended with pay following his arrest Wednesday. The “suspected road rage incident” in St. Catharines dates back to July 21, according to the Halton Regional Police Service.
Halton police were called by the NRPS to investigate after NRPS identified the suspect as being an off-duty officer in their own force.
Niagara police confirmed with CBC Hamilton on Friday that the accused is the same officer who had been charged with assaulting a superior officer in November 2018, when Parker was shot multiple times. In December, an Ontario court stayed the charges against Parker, in what’s been referred to as a rare blue-on-blue shooting that was also notable because the officer shot was the one facing charges.
In the July 21, 2022, incident, Parker, 56, is accused of leaving his vehicle and punching the other vehicle’s window, causing damage and prompting the other driver to call 911.
Parker has been suspended with pay from the NRPS. He’s scheduled for an Oct. 25 court hearing.
Previous charges against Parker
CBC’s The Fifth Estate previously investigated Parker, specifically his alleged link to another road rage incident in St. Catharines in 2013, where it’s alleged he pulled a man out of his vehicle by his hair and ears.
During Parker’s career, complaints from members of the public that he was unnecessarily violent against them have led to four disciplinary hearings. Three hearings resulted in convictions under the Police Services Act.
During the disciplinary hearings, officers spoke of his potential for rehabilitation and allowed him to keep his job. He was also sent for anger management training twice.
In the “blue-on-blue” incident, on Nov. 29, 2018, Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan fired 10 shots at Parker after the two men got into a physical fight while responding to a car accident in Pelham, Ont.
Donovan was initially charged (including with attempted murder) by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the civilian law enforcement agency that conducts investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.
All the charges against Donovan were dropped by the Crown. Parker was charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a superior officer and assault with a weapon.
In the trial late last year, Donovan said he drew his gun after Parker pushed him, hit him with “haymaker” punches and pulled his baton on Donovan. Donovan said he began shooting when Parker reached for his own gun, and kept shooting until Parker was down.
In late December 2021, the charges against Parker were stayed in light of a provincial police forensic examination that found Donovan may have lied while testifying about accessing evidence.
On Friday, in regards to this week’s charges against Parker, CBC Hamilton called and sent an email to his lawyer, who represented him at the 2021 trial involving the other officer, but had not yet received a response at publication time.