Man receives permanent facial injuriers requiring surgery in assault by EPS officers

Item

Incident Title
Man receives permanent facial injuriers requiring surgery in assault by EPS officers
Incident ID
221189
Incident Description
Anthony Maskell was beaten and left with permanent facial injuries by Constables Nadine Comeau and Darin Goldenberg during a traffic stop in March of 2010.

“This is a case of egregious police conduct — an unwarranted, grave assault causing serious permanent injuries,” Provincial court Judge Donna Groves said in a 2011 written ruling. “This is one of those ‘clearest of cases’ that requires the court to communicate unequivocally that such conduct will not be tolerated”.

The officers pulled over Maskell because a check on his license plate revealed he was suspended from driving. Officers removed Maskell from the car and threw him to the ground, placing him in the prone position. Maskell said that he was aggressively handcuffed and that the handcuffs were too tight. Officer Weins, who arrived on the scene with his partner after Maskell was handcuffed, testified that Maskell was pushed against the side of the car to hold him up. Weins stated that Maskell was having difficulty holding himself up and his legs were unsteady. Maskell states that he was thrown like a “rag doll” and that his face was pushed against the car by officers Comeau and Goldenberg. He reported having difficulty remaining conscious and having difficulty remembering much of what happened during the encounter with police.

The officers said that Maskell exhibited signs of impairment; however, Maskell explained that the slurred speech and any possible stumbling or disorientation on his part were symptoms of a head injury. Judge Grove noticed several inconsistencies between the testimony of Goldenberg and Comeau in their recounting of the events. The judge deemed Maskell’s testimony of events credible.

Maskell’s family took him to the Royal Alexandra Hospital where he underwent a CT scan and it was determined that Maskell had suffered severe facial trauma. Maskell was diagnosed with multiple facial bone fractures predominantly on the right side of his face. Maskell’s orbital bone was broken, as well as his nose. He had a deviated septum, and the tissues in his cheek were separated from the bone. Surgery was required to repair the damage to the right zygoma, right maxilla, right orbital floor, and a resuspension of the right cheek tissue. During surgery, two titanium plates were permanently inserted in the orbital/cheek area.
Incident Date
03/11/2010
Incident City
Edmonton
Incident Neighbourhood
Downtown
Type of Abuse
Physical violence
Injuries Incurred
Head injury resulting in loss of memory and difficulty remaining conscious;
Multiple facial fractures;
Permanent facial injuries requiring reconstructive surgery;
Numbness to cheek;
Temporary vision loss
Weapon used
Hands
Victim Gender
Man
Victim Sexual Orientation
Not listed
Authority Involved
Edmonton Police Service
Officer Name
Darin Goldenberg;
Nadine Comeau
Court Cases
R. v. Maskell, 2011 ABPC 176. Docket: 100418706P1
Submission Source
External Database Import
Submission Source Affiliation
Alberta Police Misconduct Database
Submission Source Link
Additional Details
APMD original incident ID: i-vF3DfnInEZ5bf2
Multimedia Type
PDF
Archive Publication Date
August 9, 2022
Archive Last Update
August 9, 2022
Tags
Charter;
excessive force;
on-duty;
Alberta Police Misconduct Database
Confidentiality/Restrictions
From published source
Complaint Resolution
Goldenberg and Comeau's conduct was questioned in a 2011 provincial court proceeding, resulting in a stay against the accused. The judge found that excessive force was used during the arrest and that victim's Charter Rights were breached.

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