Accused charged with causing a disturbance and resisting arrest. RCMP responded in the early morning hours to a complaint of a potential impaired driver leaving a bar, with a specific vehicle description. Accused found in bar parking area standing next to the open door of a vehicle matching the vehicle description. RCMP asked accused who’s vehicle it was and accused responded by loudly and aggressively demanding to be left alone. RCMP attempted to place client under arrest for causing a disturbance but accused laid on ground refusing to allow RCMP to access his arms. Multiple RCMP officers were required during a short struggle to affect an arrest.
Held: Acquitted. For an arrest without warrant to be lawful, police belief that a person is committing an offence must be objectively reasonable. For a person to be committing the offence of causing a disturbance there must be proof of an “externally manifested disturbance”. There was no evidence that anyone was disturbed by accused’s behavior; to the contrary, the evidence showed that persons were not disturbed as two passerby’s carried on their way and no local residences turned on their lights or looked out their windows. Due to evidence that no one was disturbed it was not objectively reasonable to believe accused was causing a disturbance, therefore the attempt to arrest accused was unlawful and he was entitled to resist. As it was not objectively reasonable to believe accused was causing a disturbance the Court cannot find on the higher standard of beyond a reasonable doubt that he caused a disturbance.