The second day of RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler's assault trial was filled with testy exchanges between defence counsel Neville McDougall and accuser Buddy Tavares.
The day began with McDougall telling Tavares: "I understand you're angry," to which Tavares retorted: "I'm not angry."
That set the tone for two hours of cross-examination by McDougall, only a small part of it focusing on the circumstances surrounding Mantler ordering Tavares out of his truck and onto the ground before kicking him in the face on Jan. 7, 2011.
Several times, Crown counsel Will Burrows questioned the relevance of questions, and even provincial court Judge Greg Koturbash said McDougall's quoting of police statements without saying who said what was confusing him.
Mantler, charged with assault causing bodily harm, was responding to a complaint of shots fired at Harvest Golf Club on KLO Road by an ex-employee with a brain injury.
McDougall questioned why Tavares never said in police interviews afterward that Mantler was shaking while pointing the gun at him.
"He was shaking. I was there; I saw him shaking," insisted Tavares.
In one statement, Tavares told RCMP: "This guy (Mantler) had one too many power drinks."
Asked later by Burrows what he meant, Tavares responded: "Agitated. Major sugar rush."
For most of the morning, McDougall focused on Tavares' relationship with his ex-wife, including her demand for financial support after he gave her a fourplex and they signed a separation agreement, and that he was "angry as hell." He also questioned the reason Tavares went to the Harvest Golf Club on Jan. 7, 2011, and compared his earlier police statements.
When McDougall pointed out inconsistencies and asked about truthfulness, Tavares replied: "I'm not in the habit of lying, especially in a court of law."
When McDougall tried to point out two versions of where Tavares had breakfast that morning, Tavares responded testily.
"You're asking me to remember things from two years ago. I struggle to remember a lot of things. I don't understand the pertinence of whether I had jam on my toast that day," said Tavares.
On Aug. 8, 2010, Tavares suffered life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle crash, was in a coma from brain injuries and only returned to Harvest Golf Club sporadically after his
release from hospital in the fall of 2010.
After chatting with other employees on the day of the incident, Tavares said he would fire a few shots from his shotgun to scare away geese as he had for the past two decades.
During one heated exchange, Tavares told McDougall: "I suffered a second brain injury at the hands of Geoff Mantler, and all of those statements were made after my brain had been seriously rattled. Was I in a position to state correctly everything that happened? No."
Tavares admitted he was angry with his lawyer, not his wife, after she demanded $200 a month in support via registered documents he picked up that day.
McDougall asked whether a golf club employee told him to "Let it go; let the lawyers sort this out" and to go visit his parents in Mexico. Tavares didn't remember the conversation.
"You might say I was depressed. I wanted to get my life back. The loss of my job, the loss of my functions, the stress of trying to do things I used to do and I found I could not. I wanted to get back to work," he said.
McDougall suggested Mantler yelled at Tavares: "Get your hands up. You in the truck: get your hands up. You're under arrest. Get them up now."
"You're suggesting things that I should have heard and remember. I don't recall. Anything is possible," said Tavares.
In the afternoon, Const. Robyn Boffy testified she was the second RCMP member to arrive on KLO Road, where Mantler had pulled over Tavares.
After confirming she had use-of-force training, Boffy said her assessment of Tavares' level of resistance was that he "appears co-operative" in a video taken by journalist Kelly Hayes.
Asked by Burrows if RCMP are entitled to use force if a person is co-operative, Boffy responded: "No, not really. I did hear some people saying 'police brutality.'"
The provincial court trial is expected to take two weeks and involve about 20 witnesses for the Crown. Mantler is likely to testify. The trial continues at the Kelowna Law Courts today.