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Man sentenced for spitting on officer and impaired driving

'I hope you are very embarrassed for your actions,' said judge
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The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo.

Justin Radke "crossed a line" when he spit in the face of a police officer who had arrested him for impaired driving after his pickup truck was Involved in a serious collision north of Sault Ste. Marie.

His actions on June 20, 2021, when he told the Ontario Provincial Police officer, "I hope you get Covid and die" resulted in a further charge of assault, the Crown said Friday.

The young man pleaded guilty to both charges, which stemmed from the single-vehicle crash that occurred in Aweres Township.

Combined with his "quite high" blood alcohol readings and the high-speed crash, the assault became a further aggravating factor in his sentencing.

"The officer was trying to do his job," Ontario Court Justice Melanie Dunn admonished  the 20-year-old man. "I hope you are very embarrassed for your actions."

Prosecutor Stuart Woods and defence counsel Ken Walker jointly recommended that he be sentenced to 60 days house arrest, followed by one-year probation.

They also asked the judge to impose a 12-month driving prohibition.

Walker said his client's readings (140 and 150 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) were getting close to double the legal limit, and along with the accident and assault, were aggravating factors

The loss of Radke's licence will have a serious impact on him, but a short-lived one, the defence noted.

Dunn accepted the lawyers' recommendation, telling Radke the sentence is "jail at home."

She agreed to transfer the order to Kamloops, B.C., so  he can continue his employment as a pipe line laborer. 

During his sentence, Radke can only leave his residence for medical emergencies, to go directly to and from work, and for five hours on Sundays to obtain the necessities of life.

He must also must confirm his work schedule with his sentence supervisor .

As well, Radke must present himself at the door of his residence to his supervisor or any police officer to verify his compliance with the home confinement order.

Since he is serving a custodial sentence he also can have no alcohol nor intoxicating substances.

He also must attend any recommended counselling and not molest or harrass the OPP officer he assaulted.

Dunn suggested Radke might also want to send him a letter of apology, adding "I.m sure he would appreciate it."

The judge also imposed a weapons prohibition and ordered him to provide a DNA sample for the national registry.

Radke is also prohibited from getting behind the wheel for a year.

 

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About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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