A Hamilton, Ont., man alleges that when he was wrongfully arrested for refusing to take a breathalyzer, Peel Regional Police left his pregnant wife and their two children stranded at the side of a Brampton road.
He also alleges that police broke his wrist during the arrest.
Ian Hanniford, 37, and his wife, Kelly-Anne Hanniford, 38, who is nine months pregnant, said they were stopped by a Peel police officer around 11 p.m. Sunday night while travelling with their three-year-old-daughter and 13-year-old son.
The Hannifords said the officer may have thought they had been at a customer appreciation party at a nearby Jamaican restaurant. Ian Hanniford said the officer asked him if he had been drinking and he replied that he had not.
The Hannifords said they told the officer they had spent the day in Brampton attending a communion at a local church, and visiting with family at a barbecue. They said they tried to show the officer church clothes in the back seat, but he ordered the driver out of the vehicle.
Ian Hanniford said he got out of the car to take a breathalyzer test, but returned to his vehicle when he saw two other officers leaning into the car and speaking with his son.
When he shut the car door and told the officers that they had no right talking to his son, his wife said that five officers swarmed her husband.
She alleges he was handcuffed, put in the back of a cruiser and taken to 22 Division in Brampton.
Kelly-Anne Hanniford told CBC News that her family's BMW was towed away, and she and her children were stranded at the side of the road.
She said a police officer told her to catch a bus or hail a cab.
Her uncle, George Hanniford, said he received a phone call from his niece shortly after the incident.
“She was so upset. She was shouting 'they're towing the car. What do I do?'” said the City of Toronto social worker, who left his Brampton home close to midnight to rescue the stranded family.
Ian Hanniford was charged with refusing to give a breath sample, and was released in 30 minutes. His car was impounded and his licence suspended for 90 days.
He said he went to Brampton Civic Hospital where he had a blood sample taken. He said the results showed that he had no alcohol in his system. Also, X-rays revealed his wrist was broken, according to Hanniford.
Peel Regional Police said they are looking into the accusations.
“Professional Standards has been made aware of the information and is currently looking into the matter,” said Staff Sergeant Dan Richardson in an email to media outlets.
Richardson said Peel police “remain committed to being a caring and transparent organization."
“Whenever allegations such as these are brought to our attention by way of a complaint, an internal investigation is launched. Community trust is important to us and we will continue to work towards maintaining the trust that the community has in Peel Regional Police.”
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