Ottawa police not laying charges against man arrested in Parliament Hill incident
Police are no longer charging a man who caused a security disturbance on Parliament Hill Monday upon further review.
Despite having previously announced they were charging Jesse Mooney with assault and breach of probation in relation to the incident, police said on Tuesday afternoon via email that “further investigation by another section at Ottawa Police resulted in no charge laid.”
A spokesperson said in a subsequent email that “the charges were not yet filed at court” when police announced them via Twitter and news release on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The Ottawa Police Service did not provide any details about what the further investigation revealed.
READ MORE: Man arrested on Parliament Hill
Mooney, 24, was taken into custody by police following his arrest on the Hill lawn during the ceremonial changing of the guard on Monday morning. He was already wanted by police for another alleged altercation that had occurred the day before.
The update from police comes after Mooney made a brief court appearance in Ottawa late Tuesday morning – on charges related to that other alleged altercation – where he caused a commotion and was ordered by the judge presiding over the hearing to meet with a court psychiatrist.
Mooney, who appeared via video link, berated the lawyer who appeared on his behalf and demanded he be fired. When the lawyer brought up a psychiatric evaluation, Mooney went on a tirade – yelling that he needs medication, not psychiatric help, and he wants to see a doctor.
Justice Matthew Webber repeatedly told Mooney to stop talking in order to deal with the matter. When that didn’t work, the two began talking over one another.
Mooney is scheduled to meet with a court psychiatrist Wednesday morning at the Ottawa courthouse, which will help “identify issues” related to his criminal responsibility and whether he is fit to stand trial, his defence lawyer said.
Ottawa police said in a news release that Mooney got into “a verbal argument” with another 32-year-old man early Sunday morning on a walking path near the 4000 block of Bridle Path Drive, south of Hunt Club Road.
Mooney allegedly took an “unprovoked” swing “with a closed fist” at the other man and then fled the area. The alleged victim called 911 at around 7:20 a.m. and told police Mooney hit him with a knife and cut his hand.
Mooney was arrested the next day, sometime between 10:15 a.m. and 10:40 a.m., on the lawn in front of Centre Block.
While initial reports described Mooney as carrying a knife, the Parliamentary Protective Service tweeted later in the day that this was “inaccurate” and that “a small pocket knife” was found nearby.
Defence lawyer Jonathan Boss told reporters he has represented Mooney in the past, but isn’t officially his counsel for either the Sunday or Monday incidents.
Boss said Mooney indicated in the courtroom he does not want him to be his lawyer anymore, but the judge asked Boss to “follow along with the case for now” until he’s had a chance to think about Mooney’s request.
Mooney remains in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
Asked by a reporter whether Mooney lives with mental health issues, Boss said that he couldn’t say so with certainty, but added that both he and the Crown “have a strong suspicion” Mooney does.
Boss added that the accused’s behaviour in court Tuesday, which he described as “quite agitated,” reflects why lawyers want Mooney to meet with a doctor.
The changing of the guard takes place daily at 10 a.m. during the summer months and involves dozens of reservists in the Canadian Forces.
Security on and around Parliament Hill has been increased significantly since a terror-linked shooting in October 2014 that resulted in the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo as he stood guard near the National War Memorial.
— With files from Monique Scotti and The Canadian Press