Kamloops Mountie admits obstruction, granted discharge
A Kamloops Mountie who admitted to trying to talk a rookie co-worker into writing a fake police report about a drunken fight he was involved in won't have a criminal record if he can stay out of trouble for six months, a judge has ruled.
Kamloops RCMP Const. Ryan Sheremetta pleaded guilty on Wednesday, April 11, in B.C. Supreme Court to one count of obstruction of justice stemming from an incident in the early-morning hours of March 7, 2010.
Court heard Sheremetta, who was a seven-year veteran at the time, was involved in a heated yelling match with two other men on the corner of Third Avenue and Victoria Street when a rookie constable, Daniel Bray, happened upon the scene in his patrol car.
Bray pulled up with his lights on and got out of the vehicle.
That’s when one of the men, later determined to be Sheremetta, punched another man in the face.
Court heard Bray grabbed Sheremetta, at which time he recognized him. The two had worked previously on the same watch.
Bray, who had been a Mountie for six months at the time, placed Sheremetta in the back seat of his cruiser, but did not arrest him.
He then asked Sheremetta where he lived and offered to drive him home.
During that eight-minute drive, Sheremetta asked the rookie officer to falsify his report on the incident to leave his name out.
Crown prosecutor Sheryl Wagner read from a statement given by Bray to a senior Mountie days after the incident.
“He wanted me to write the file up in a way that would leave his name out,” Wagner read, explaining Sheremetta asked Bray to say “three unknown males” were involved.
“I told him I wasn’t going to do that,” the statement continued.
“He really did not want me to include his name in the file. He made that very clear.”
After dropping Sheremetta off at his house, Bray went directly to his watch commander and told him what happened. Court heard Sheremetta followed up the conversation with a Facebook message the following evening.
“Hey dude, so I was pretty wasted last night,” it reads.
“Did my name appear in a file? Just wondering if I’m gonna get in shit for this. Thanks for the ride home.”
Sheremetta was then barred from speaking to Bray, but remained on active duty.
Despite that, Sheremetta continued to attempt to contact Bray via Facebook.
Wagner said Bray was put in an awkward position, given the fact he was a rookie officer at the time.
“He said it made him feel uncomfortable,” she said.
“He was surprised by the comment and also a little bit disappointed.”
Court heard Sheremetta had been partying at the Blue Grotto prior to the incident.
Wagner asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers to place Sheremetta on a two-year probation term, with orders he perform 50 to 100 community-service hours and write a letter of apology to Bray.
He would also be required to report regularly to a probation officer.
Defence, meanwhile, was seeking an absolute discharge — meaning Sheremetta would not have a criminal record.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers decided on a conditional discharge and six months of probation.
That means Sheremetta will not have a criminal record if he completes the probation term without incident.
In handing down his sentence, Powers called Sheremetta's actions "an embarrassment to the RCMP," but "out of character" for the Mountie, who was painted as a community-minded officer in letters of reference presented to the court.
"It was a spur-of-the-moment, non-pre-meditated action on the part of Mr. Sheremetta," the judge said.
He also cautioned the constable to be careful with his drinking.
Sheremetta was initially charged with assault in addition to obstruction of justice, but the assault charge was later stayed. He was suspended with pay in February 2011. That suspension was lifted last August.
Sheremetta is now on active duty in the Kamloops RCMP’s traffic section.
In addition to the criminal charges, he also underwent an internal discipline process.
As a result, he was docked $1,200 in pay and barred from receiving any promotions for eight years.
The incident is not Sheremetta’s first time in the public eye.
In 2004, he shot and killed a robbery suspect while working in Vanderhoof.
Following a high-profile investigation, he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.