Toronto police officer jailed for drunken rampage

Canadian Press

Wednesday, Sep 1, 2004

Hamilton — A Toronto police officer who sexually assaulted a flight attendant and threatened to kill a planeload of passengers was stripped of his duties, suspended without pay and sentenced to jail time Wednesday.

Ontario Court Justice Robert Weseloh sentenced Constable Amarjit Singh Grewal to four months for sexual assault and three months for threatening death, to be served concurrently. The judge also sentenced Mr. Grewal to one day for assaulting another flight attendant.

The 15-year veteran officer of the Toronto Police Service also faces five Police Act charges, which will be dealt with through a tribunal after his sentence. It's likely Mr. Grewal will lose his job.

“We've taken a position that we have no place for them once they've been to (jail),” said Staff Insp. George Cowley of Toronto police's professional standards branch.

Mr. Grewal, 34, pleaded guilty to the charges in April. Court heard on the night of Aug. 27, 2002, he was drunk and boarded WestJet flight 659 from Edmonton to Hamilton.

About 30 minutes into the 3½-hour flight, Mr. Grewal placed his right hand into the air like a gun and shouted, “You have no idea what I can do to all of these people on the plane. I could ... blow them away.”

The flight attendant, who cannot be identified under a court order, tried to keep Mr. Grewal occupied and away from other passengers for more than two hours, court heard.

Mr. Grewal pushed her into a window seat, pressed up against her, and began to stroke her face while speaking in a foreign language. He told her that he wanted to jump on her and have sex. He later touched her breast and put his hand down her pants into her underwear.

Judge Weseloh said the woman, who continues to suffer from nightmares and post-traumatic stress syndrome, displayed “phenomenal courage.”

She hasn't returned to her duties at WestJet and is in therapy.

Mr. Grewal was also given three years probation, must submit a DNA sample, and is barred from carrying firearms for 10 years.

He must take part in rehabilitation programs for anger management and substance abuse, and is not allowed to board an aircraft in Canada without approval from his parole officer.