Handcuffed for riding on the footpath

ANNE CLARKSON
Last updated 14:07 18/08/2014
Timothy Phillip Hartnell
JOHN BISSET
Timothy Phillip Hartnell

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A former police officer has been discharged without conviction for assault charge relating to handcuffing a young man who rode his bike on the footpath.

As a police officer, Timothy Phillip Hartnell had a problem with people riding bikes on the pavement in Pleasant Point, a town near Timaru in South Canterbury.

Judge Jane Farish said Hartnell had stopped the young man by grabbing his backpack. The youth slipped the bag off and ran away. Hartnell chased him; he fell over and had a bleeding nose when Hartnell caught him. Hartnell handcuffed him and took him home to his mother.

A complaint was laid with the police the next day. Hartnell resigned and moved out of the district.

Judge Farish today at the Christchurch District Court ordered Hartnell to write an apology letter to the young man.

She said Hartnell had a blameless character, and a conviction would have significant consequences for him and the community he now voluntarily served. The effect of a conviction would be out of proportion with the gravity of the offence, the judge said.

She said the young man's victim impact report said he had been scared and had not ridden his bike since this incident. He was anxious and apprehensive of the police.

Hartnell was discharged without conviction.

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