July 12th, 2024

Medicine Hat man gets 90 days in police impersonation case

By Peggy Revell on June 27, 2017.

prevell@medicinehatnews.com @MHNprevell

A former peace officer and British soldier was sentenced to 90 days, time served, for presenting himself as a police officer and offering assistance to a sheriff conducting a traffic stop near Strathmore.

Michael John Carolan entered guilty pleas Tuesday to impersonating a police officer, using a badge to cause a person to believe he was an officer, and possessing body armour.

Carolan will serve an additional 90 days straight in custody as part of the joint submission, due to breaching a conditional sentence order (CSO) of two-years less a day handed down in August 2016, after pleading guilty to five counts of assaulting a police officer by pointing a firearm. This CSO meant Carolan was under house arrest, and curfew conditions – serving his time in the community, not behind bars.

The new charges against Carolan came from an incident on April 20, when a sheriff in the Strathmore area was conducting a traffic stop. Carolan approached the officer, wearing RCMP jacket, and producing a badge – minus having a name – saying he was an off-duty Brooks RCMP officer, asking if assistance was needed, and saying he had called in the stop. Carolan also had on him a police-like belt filled with gear, like a baton.

Carolan used “police jargon” but the sheriff grew suspicious, and said no assistance was needed. The sheriff made a call and learned there was no off-duty officer who had made a call in to dispatch, and queried Carolan’s licence plate, learning about his record.

When Carolan was located and arrested later, police found in his possession of a police duty bag, filled with gear, including body armour.

Since this incident, he has been in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre.

“Certainly it’s a bit of an unusual circumstance,” said Carolan’s defence lawyer Allan Leis, noting that police impersonation usually occurs when a person is attempting to commit sexual assault or theft under the guise of having police authority.

Carolan’s actions didn’t do anything to result in gain for himself, defence said, and did not adversely affect the sheriff’s traffic stop.

“This is sort of a compromise based on your personal circumstances,” said Judge Gordan Krinke, who also sentenced Carolan to the CSO. “But it cannot happen again.”

Carolan’s original charges stem back to a September 2013 incident where police responded to a 911 call made by him from his Ross Glen residence.

When police arrived, Carolan refused to follow directions to drop his gun, and police ultimately shot him three times, twice in the back and once in the face. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team determined that the shooting was justified.

During his sentencing the court heard about Carolan’s history, including his military service, PTSD, and mental health struggles. Until this incident, Carolan had no criminal record, and his only encounter with the law came from an attempt at suicide by driving intoxicated. He will continue serving the full CSO once his time served over the newest charges are complete.

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