SARNIA - The placement of an iron "tire slasher" in a roadway leading to a native burial ground on the formed Camp Ipperwash led to conflict between a native man and Armed Forces personnel. a courtroom was told here Monday.
Glenn Morris George, 34, is charged with two counts of assault, one of mischief and one of uttering a death threat in connection with two incidents in June 27 and June 28, 1995, at the former army camp where George was taking part in a native re-occupation of the land.
There were audible gasps when defense council Jeffrey House held up in Ontario court, provincial division, the "tire slasher," a medieval-looking iron instrument of sharpened, four pointer starts along a bar.
"This could do serious damage to a vehicle or a person," House said to Capt. Allan Howse during his cross-examination. "They were on the road toward the woods, toward the burial ground, weren't they?"
Howse said the tire slasher was part of a temporary roadblock the army had built the Friday night before the incident with George. On June 27, Howse saw George using a tractor to remove stakes which were to be the base for a permanent roadblock on a road leading from the army portion of the camp.
A shouting match between Howse and George ensued, and George drove the tractor into the side of Howse's army truck causing $900 damage, Howse said. George also uttered a death threat to Howse and the two corporals with him, Howse testified.
But House suggested the captain had goaded George into issuing the threat. By saying, "Or what?" twice to George's demands the army leave the land, Howse was, "goading George onto making a threat. You didn't say 'the army leaving is being negotiated' or 'it's out of my hands.' You said 'Or what?' because you wanted to create an incident you could report to the OPP."
Howse denied that.
Judge Alexander Graham also heard evidence in connection with the other incident in which George was charged. Donald Steven testified he was working security at the Camp Ipperwash gate at 4:20 am June 28, 1995, when a patrol driving an army truck toward the gate called out to him to open the gate and shut it fast because they were being followed. A car pulled up outside the gate and George got out and walked toward the man driving the truck, yelling the army had no right to be there.
"I said to him 'we just work here, you know,' and I guess that was the wrong thing to say because he lunged at me and hit my left shoulder and pushed me back to the gatehouse."