Man jailed on eight charges in cruiser ramming incident

By Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor

A Norfolk OPP cruiser was damaged after a moving van backed into it in Simcoe on Oct. 1, 2016. The police vehicle suffered major damage.  (Norfolk OPP photo)

A Norfolk OPP cruiser was damaged after a moving van backed into it in Simcoe on Oct. 1, 2016. The police vehicle suffered major damage. (Norfolk OPP photo)


A 50-year-old man who rammed a Norfolk OPP police cruiser last year was sentenced to almost three years in jail on eight charges in connection with the incident.

Alton Jackson was stopped by police just after 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2016 after the stolen moving van he was driving attracted a complaint on Norfolk Street North in Simcoe.

When the officer stopped the van and tried to extricate Jackson, the man struck the officer. Then, when the officer returned to his cruiser, Jackson reversed the U-Haul, smashed into the vehicle and took off. He was arrested some hours later in Niagara.

“Mr. Jackson has a very extensive criminal record,” said assistant Crown attorney Lynette Fritzley at the Ontario Court sentencing hearing last month. She noted he wanders the province and has no fixed address.

“I counted 45 convictions on his record from 1990 to recently and four are prior assault police convictions. There’s a prior leaving the scene of an accident and at least five prior stolen properties – all similar to what’s before the court today.”

Jackson pleaded not guilty at a trial that continued through September and October, but was found guilty on all charges by Justice Kevin Sherwood. The charges were dangerous operation of a vehicle, assault to resist arrest, using a weapon against a peace officer, failing to stop at an accident, theft under $5,000, obstructing police, disobeying a court order and driving while under suspension.

Jackson represented himself during the sentencing, engaging in a rambling 35-minute life story that emphasized a bullied childhood, several accidents, jail experiences and how he felt constantly set up.

He concluded by noting it was the judge’s job to decide what to do with him, but suggested his time already served of 409 days in jail should suffice.

“I don’t know what you should do about the charges ... I find myself not guilty.”

Justice Sherwood said he wanted to make a strong recommendation for Jackson to get into the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville – a prison that offers counselling for the mental health issues the judge said somewhat undermined Jackson’s culpability in the case.

“This is a situation where the officer could have been very seriously injured and others, who were reasonably using the roadway, could also have been impacted.

“People have to realize that when they are stopped by a police officer they have to respect that authority.”

Sherwood said Jackson’s previous criminal record reflects ongoing criminal involvement.

“The actions of Jackson were extreme, posed extreme danger and he has not demonstrated any remorse, nor has he proposed any concrete plan or commitment to rehabilitation,” Sherwood said.

The judge credited Jackson with having served 409 days in jail, enhanced to 613 days of pretrial custody, and ordered that he serve a further 407 days on the various charges.

He also ordered a freestanding restitution order for Jackson to pay $13,813.30 for the totalled police cruiser.

Jackson must provide a sample of his DNA for the national offenders databank, is prohibited from driving for five years once he’s out of prison and can’t use weapons for 10 years.

“I wish you the best and hope you get some help,” said Sherwood. “You can’t do this again. You’re just going to end up spending more and more time in custody and that’s not going to be for your benefit.”

Brantford Expositor