Halton officer charged after standoff

Mar 04, 2008 02:27 PM

Torstar News Service


A Halton Region police officer has been charged with assault and forcible confinement after an alleged domestic dispute at his Cambridge home on the weekend.

Const. Mark Trinaistich, 39, is also charged with uttering threats.

He was remanded in a video court appearance yesterday and is scheduled to appear in a Kitchener courtroom today.

Trinaistich, a patrol officer in Milton, had been suspended with pay on Friday afternoon pending the outcome of an internal police investigation into an unrelated matter, said Sgt. Brian Carr of Halton police.

Carr said he didn't know the circumstances leading to the investigation.

At 3 a.m. Saturday, hours after the suspension, Waterloo police went to a house on Houghton Street in Hespeler after a woman called police, spokesperson Olaf Heinzel said.

Police helped the woman and a child out of the house, leaving a distraught man inside, Heinzel said. No one was hurt.

The man allegedly barricaded himself inside, and tactical officers surrounded the house. The standoff ended seven hours later at 10 a.m.

Jeff Elmquist, who lives nearby on Adler Drive, said he saw a man walk out the front door with his arms raised over his head.

Shortly afterwards, Elmquist said, a tactical officer walked out carrying a handgun, which he gave to another officer.

Carr said Halton police officers must get permission to take their service revolvers home. He said he didn't know whether a police gun was involved in the Cambridge incident.

Trinaistich joined the Halton force in 2000 after working as an officer in Paris, Ont., Carr said.

Yesterday, during the video remand in Kitchener, Trinaistich repeatedly complained to a justice of the peace about access to a lawyer.

"When I was arrested by Waterloo regional police, I wasn't awarded the right to speak to a lawyer in person," he told justice of the peace Zeljana Radulovic.

Anna Santos, a duty counsel lawyer, said she explained to Trinaistich that his father has retained a lawyer who couldn't attend court yesterday.

But this explanation didn't satisfy Trinaistich, who continued arguing with Radulovic about his inability to speak to a lawyer in person.

The Record