Lawsuit accuses Mountie of using excessive force

A Yukon man is suing a Whitehorse RCMP officer for assault and battery and wrongful arrest, claiming he was punched multiple times in the face nearly two years ago.

A Yukon man is suing a Whitehorse RCMP officer for assault and battery and wrongful arrest, claiming he was punched multiple times in the face nearly two years ago.

It appears the officer is the same one who is currently under investigation by an Outside organization for punching a different man earlier this year.

Court documents filed by Stefan Brynjolfsson name Const. Nathan Menard.

Online comments and news reports have identified Menard as the officer in a video where he appears to punch Joshua Skookum after responding to a 911 call in April.

A different online video, of Menard discussing martial arts, appears to be of the same person.

Neither the RCMP nor the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which is investigating, will confirm that Menard is the subject of the investigation.

Documents filed this week by Brynjolfsson in Yukon Supreme Court claim Brynjolfsson and Menard met each other at a Whitehorse gym.

They are both trained in Brazilian jujitsu. Menard has a brown belt.

After celebrating Canada Day at a downtown bar, Brynjolfsson says a female friend asked him to walk her home. He admits they were both intoxicated.

According to the lawsuit, Menard approached the pair in his police car and asked if Brynjolfsson’s friend was OK, and “Brynjolfsson advised his friend that she does not have to answer Menard’s questions and they continued walking until Brynjolfsson saw his friend off at her home.”

After, Brynjolfsson claims he was walking home himself when he saw “Menard affronting another female person at her own truck.”

He says he told the officer to leave her alone.

The lawsuit claims Menard came over and started punching him “repeatedly in the face causing him to fall down, hitting his head against the sidewalk, continuing to punch him and violently restrain him with a painful arm hold.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court, and the RCMP has not filed a statement of defence yet.

The lawsuit says that Brynjolfsson was bleeding, but neither Menard nor the officers who arrived as back-up got him medical help.

Brynjolfsson was arrested and sent to the drunk tank. He was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer.

Those charges were stayed “and resolved by way of adult diversion,” the lawsuit says, without offering details.

He says he suffered a head injury, cuts and bruises and severely damaged his right shoulder, which will require surgery in the future.

Brynjolfsson says Menard used excessive force that was “applied with malice, and with the intention of injuring Brynjolfsson and/or with the knowledge that said force was excessive in the circumstances.”

He says the arrest was unlawful because Menard had no reason to believe he had committed a crime or was a threat.

Brynjolfsson claims he was denied rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He says he was arbitrarily detained, denied his rights to liberty and security and was not read his rights during his arrest.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from either Menard or the Attorney General of Canada.

Nothing in the lawsuit explains why Brynjolfsson waited nearly two years to file the lawsuit. In the Yukon, cases alleging assault and battery have to be filed within two years.

RCMP spokesperson David Gilbert said he can’t comment on whether Brynjolfsson filed a complaint after his arrest or if the police ever investigated internally.

Meanwhile, ASIRT is still investigating the officer who appeared to punch Joshua Skookum during his arrest this year.

Video of the incident was recorded on a cell phone in a Jeckell Street home on Sunday, April 5.

In the short clip, which was posted to Facebook the same day, a police officer is seen swinging his fist towards Skookum’s face while trying to arrest him.

Police have said they need to be publicly responsible for their actions, which includes the use of force. But they also said the video only tells part of the story.

Lynn Crawford, a spokesperson for ASIRT, said the outside investigators are still looking into what happened on the video.

They plan to come back up to Whitehorse for more investigation.

They’re hoping to have the investigation complete by the end of June, she said.

It’s ASIRT’s policy not to name officers they are investigating or the people who make allegations.

They’re currently reviewing that policy when it comes to naming civilians. But police officers’ names are only released if they are charged with a criminal offence, she said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Employees’ Union says a lack of staff training and high turnover at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter is creating a dangerous situation for underpaid workers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Employees’ Union says lack of training at emergency shelter leading to unsafe situations

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said the staffing policy “is evolving”

Justice Karen Wenckebach will begin serving as resident judge on the Yukon Supreme Court early next year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
All-female justice roster ‘a good step’ for diversity in Yukon Supreme Court

Karen Wenckebach is the third woman appointed to the Yukon Supreme Court in history

The Liberal government blocked a motion by Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers that would have asked the federal government to provide the territories with more than a per capita amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses during initial distribution. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Party says a per capita distribution of vaccines would leave Yukon short

The opposition is also asking the government to release their plan for vaccine distribution


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 4, 2020

Dawson City’s BHB Storage facility experienced a break-and-enter last month, according to Yukon RCMP. (File photo)
Storage lockers damaged, items stolen in Dawson City

BHB Storage facility victim to second Dawson City break-and-enter last month

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Most Read