I interrupt my account of this week's exciting jury selection process to pass on the news that Tre Smith of the Toronto Humane Society was arrested this afternoon for (im)personating a peace officer and also for perjury.
Another OSPCA officer, Mark Beauchamp, was also arrested for obstructing a peace officer when he tipped off THS management that there was going to be a raid on their facility back in June.
From The Globe and Mail, OSPCA arrests two of its officers:
"…The charges laid against our own Ontario SPCA agent indicate that we are serious about holding all investigators to the highest standard of conduct, not just those at the THS," said Kate MacDonald, chief executive officer of the OSPCA.
Staff inside the shelter told The Globe and Mail that the tip led to a massive cleaning effort in advance of the inspection and that they were then instructed by THS management to hide animals from the OSPCA.
I remember several times watching Tre Smith on television or in newspaper photos still wearing his uniform even after his license was removed by the OSPCA and wondering how he could be so brazen to do such a thing. A cop can't go around wearing a cop uniform, implying he's still a cop, if he's been taken off duty. And to do it in front of potentially thousands of witnesses and to have it recorded by media - well, that just ain't too smart. I think that's why I feel strangely sorry for Tre.
I've heard that when he first started as a volunteer at the THS many years ago, he was a pretty decent guy, putting a lot of effort in with the dogs. Somehow in his years as THS poster boy/OSPCA officer, something changed. Maybe it was some irresistible spell cast by Tim Trow's persona. Maybe it was self-generated. Whatever it was, things have taken a bad turn for Mr. Smith.
As for the charges against Mark Beauchamp, if they hold true, there's only one word for his actions: stupid.