Man arrested after ruckus with sheriffs officers at court

Rosie Mullaley
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Sheriff’s officers take down Tom Michael Grace in the main hallway of provincial court in St. John’s this morning. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man who was taken down by sheriff’s officers at provincial court in St. John’s this morning after he refused to move behind security barriers is facing criminal charges.

Tom Michael Grace was arrested following an incident that happened in the main hallway outside Courtroom No. 7.

Sheriff’s officers had secured the area with retractable security tape — the routine when reporters are there — as Grace’s brother, Harold Douglas Grace, was to be escorted out from the courtroom and back to the holding cells.

Tom Grace was standing in the area where his brother was to be led out and was asked by a sheriff’s officer to move behind the tape.

He refused.

“I’m not moving,” he said to the officer. “I’m allowed to be here.”

The officer said he wasn’t permitted to stand there and asked him again to move, but Grace again refused.

That’s when the officer forcibly moved the man, pushing him from the area.

Grace struggled, prompting a second nearby sheriff’s officer to help restrain him.

Another three officers ran from the holding cells and forced Grace to the floor.

He was handcuffed and taken to the holding cells.

RNC officers arrived shortly after and charged Grace with uttering threats to sheriff’s officers and resisting arrest.

He was later released and will appear in court at a later date, which has yet to be scheduled.

Meanwhile, Harold Douglas Grace — who was arrested Sunday morning after he allegedly hit a parked car — is charged with several Highway Traffic violations and owes more than $30,000 in unpaid traffic tickets.

He was remanded into custody and is due back in court Tuesday.

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Recent comments

  • George
    February 28, 2012 - 09:20

    There is no rehabilitating people like that. Some are born just plain bad straight out the womb.

  • Mother's Pride and Joy
    February 28, 2012 - 06:10

    What a dope.

  • Joe
    February 28, 2012 - 05:42

    Did anyone think this guy is an ordinary guy who is just frustrated with his brothers situation. In one way trying to support him. Everyone can have their judgement clouded by emotion, especially when it comes to family. And I'm sure all of you who waist your time on here turnning your noise up at the scum of St. John's should practice a little empathy, think about when you found yourself in a tough situation. RNC have no empathy, "That’s when the officer forcibly moved the man, pushing him from the area." I've seen the RNC in action, these guys just like to puff their chest. Get a life telegram readers and chose to comment when you can make a difference.

    • JJT
      February 28, 2012 - 07:46

      Ridiculous! The RNC have no empathy? Those two ended up where they are because they have not one whit of respect for the law of the land, and no consideration for anyone but themselves. Take your own advice and get a life, Joe. It's not always someone else's fault. You have to take responsibility for your own actions sometime.

    • prufock
      February 28, 2012 - 07:47

      Joe, he was asked TWICE to move before force was used - he refused. When force was used, he struggled against the officers. Yes, these might have been just emotionally-charged bad decisions, but they were still his decisions. Most of us have been in bad situations before, but few of us use this as an excuse to antagonize officers of the law. Empathy? What would you have the officers do, give him a hug? That's not their job. Also, these were not RNC officers, they were Sheriff's officers.

    • Too Funny
      February 28, 2012 - 09:39

      "Get a life telegram readers and chose to comment when you can make a difference." So says the guy who makes the comment that does not make a difference. BTW, it was Sheriffs that took down your buddy.

  • Kevin Power
    February 27, 2012 - 21:51

    Another example of St. John's finest scumbags. What an addition to society this guy and his brother is? Brother owes $30,000 in unpaid fines. This guys shows up to cause trouble and he found it. I am sure that the guards and other people there really enjoyed getting a look at the crack of his behind. Hopefully, he took home a few lumps to remember his day of being a trouble maker.

  • Ticket Free
    February 27, 2012 - 21:04

    When people owe that much in tickets, take the car and sell it, and keep them in jail until the serve the equivalent in time. Its the only way these people will learn. They obviously have no regard for the law, for the safety of others, or for themselves. Don't give them a new prison, put them in chains, to do work outside, chain them togeather in a gang and make them work every day outdoors, cleaning up the city, digging holes, whatever needs to be done....that's what they do in some U.S. states. That might be a deterrent.

  • David
    February 27, 2012 - 20:36

    Fine Newfoundland citizens. With a gene pool as well-bred as this, its amazing we're not all self made millionaires.

  • MallRat
    February 27, 2012 - 18:18

    These guys, in my eyes, just showed true professionalism on the news. They were justified in pepper spraying this guy, or at least laying a good ol'fashion PO-Leece beat down on him. Poor guys all the same working in the Court House eh! I watched this on my PVR and rewound it a couple of times to see the reaction of the staff and public in the area. Nobody missed a beat the public simply removed themselves and the Court Staff behind the plexi-glass didn't even cast a look, they just continued doing their jobs. Clearly this happens all the time, it just so happened the cameras caught this incident. I have a buddy who works with the Sheriff's and he says they are rolling with dirtbags everyother day! Frig that! I will stick to my Job at the mall. LESS chance of getting spat on!

  • Steve
    February 27, 2012 - 17:01

    Oh come on, they just want to meet their father inside and have a family reunion.

  • Kent
    February 27, 2012 - 16:26

    What at kind of fool tries to pull a stunt like this? Did he actually think Sheriffs officers would put up with his crap? Smarten up!

  • Political watcher
    February 27, 2012 - 15:29

    But officer; I only wants to see me brudder. At least they a close family

  • John Stokes
    February 27, 2012 - 14:58

    What a nice family

  • JJT
    February 27, 2012 - 14:40

    How's that floor taste, Tough Guy?