Man posts video of own arrest for impaired driving

Barb Sweet bsweet@thetelegram.com
Published on March 7, 2012

A Spaniard’s Bay man has posted a video to YouTube depicting him being arrested for allegedly operating his vehicle while impaired.

Chris Hayward, 39, said he shot the video entitled, “Dey got me b’y,” because his rights were being infringed upon. The image bounces around, but the audio clearly follows Hayward’s encounter with the law.

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Comments on the video so far have not sided with Hayward, who appears to offer RCMP Const. David Loder $15 in the video, which the officer returns, waving the cash at the camera.

“He give it back to me,” Hayward told The Telegram.

“That’s all right. I’ll mail it to him.”

Hayward said he was stopped shortly after 9 a.m. on Feb. 28 when he left his Bay Roberts workplace to pick up a friend’s spouse who was stranded.

“That remains for the justice system to work out,” Hayward told The Telegram of the allegations against him.

“Maybe it’s going to be no contest. I don’t know what I’m going to do. The night before was a rough night, OK, and I was just trying to get to work. … Innocent until proven guilty, isn’t it?”

Hayward said he was working with friends on a project at his house the night before the traffic stop.

He told The Telegram he is now no longer with his former employer of three years.

He was brought to the Bay Roberts police detachment, where he took a breathalyzer test. He is accused of impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol level exceeding 80 milligrams and resisting arrest, according to RCMP spokesman Sgt. Marc Coulombe.

The YouTube video had fewer than 700 views as of Tuesday.

“Why on earth would you post this??? You ought to be embarrassed,” one commenter remarked.

“I wanted to be heard,” Hayward told The Telegram. “I was fair and reasonable. I said ‘Yes, here’s a shot of me not looking good.’ Here’s my face. My eyes is not good. I’m tired. It’s early in the morning.”

Hayward insists he has more of the recording and isn’t trying to “compromise the image of the RCMP unnecessarily.”

Coulombe said there’s nothing illegal about Hayward posting the video, but he noted Hayward has the matter before the courts in May and has now put it before the court of public opinion.

“It’s his prerogative if he wants to do that,” Coulombe said.

And he said if Hayward were to film himself committing a criminal offence, the RCMP can seize his phone and obtain a judicial order to download the video as evidence.

But he said while Loder allowed the video to be taken, it was up to Hayward, for civil law purposes, to get permission from the officer to place his image on social media.

Coulombe said as a result of the infamous video of Rodney King, a black man brutally beaten by officers in the 1992 L.A. riots, police officers know that at any given time the public can be at a scene with a video camera, which is even more likely now because of the proliferation of smart phones.

“We’re at a point in this day and age, police officers are aware this can happen, and they are prepared for it,” Coulombe said.

But he said Hayward’s action is unique.

“I have never seen someone videotape their own arrest,” he said.

As for the $15 offer, Coulombe remarked while it’s a small sum, it wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

Loder is  heard on the video pointing out he is not trying to stop the recording and Coulombe said officers wouldn’t do that unless their investigation is being obstructed in some way.

Hayward claims Loder was trying to take the phone and was violating his rights. He is heard yelling to his female passenger that his lawyer is on the other end of the phone.

“It’s still running. It’s his phone. I am not touching it,” Loder is heard to say.

As Loder requests a breathalyzer technician for the Bay Roberts detachment, with Hayward handcuffed in the back of the patrol car, Hayward called out, “I thought yesterday was a bad day.”

To watch video, CLICK HERE.

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A screengrab of the YouTube video Chris Hayward of Spaniard’s Bay filmed and uploaded of his arrest for impaird driving. — Submitted image