Video – Lawyer Says “Lynch Mob Weaponizing The Criminal Code” Against Canadian Veteran

In Editor Choice, Local

Apologizes for the video – it’s strictly audio as there was a problem with the camera

After nearly three decades with the Canadian Armed Forces, all veteran Todd Cane wanted to do is peacefully live out his retirement in his hometown of Cobourg.

That all changed on the evening of Saturday December 16, 2023.

A press release issued by the Cobourg Police said that 60-year-old Cane was charged after a police a call for a disturbance investigation into uttering threats.

“It was reported that a group of youths in the area were followed by a vehicle. One youth reported the vehicle got close enough to make contact. No injuries were reported.

A parent of one of the youths confronted the driver. A dispute ensued, and the driver brandished a knife and made threats.”

Cane was arrested and charged with uttering threats to cause bodily harm, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

All of the charges were withdrawn in Court earlier this week.

Today’s Northumberland sat down with Cane and his lawyer, Alan Richter to discuss what happened on that evening and in the days, weeks, and months that followed for the veteran.

Cane was born and raised in Cobourg – joined the military in 1987.

His brother Paul who was also in the military was Cane’s inspiration for joining. His brother suffered critical injuries after his parachute failed to open.

“I visited him at the National Defense Medical Centre many times with my mother. And I became enthralled with it. I remember my mother saying, “don’t think it.”

“But the next thing I do is go to the recruiting office.”

During his tenure with the military Cane served multiple tours in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

Cane was held prisoner with 43 other Canadian soldiers for 27 days during the massacres of Srebenica. Attended the “body for prisoner’s exchange over and over until the bodies matched,” dealing with the remains of dozens of civilian and soldiers deaths.

On his second tour of Afghanistan while under fire on a roof in Khandahar he performed first aid on a Afghanistan National Police Officer.

“I have to tell you the first three tours of Yugoslavia were just as frightening and dangerous as Afghanistan. I saw a lot there. The cliche is true. When you see a whole bunch – it effects you.”

Cane is a primary caregiver for his 93-year-old father and his teenage son of their home in the east end of Cobourg.

It was around 9:30 p.m. when Cane heard a loud bang at the front door on December 16.

With his bedroom immediately next to the front door.

Cane heard a loud bang at the door.

“It resonated like it was frightening.”

“And for a veteran with ptsd (post-traumatic stress disorder) who is hypervigilant and is always checking on the security of others, including myself – that’s what happened.”

“When they kicked the door, I was in the fight or flight mode. And I just wanted to confirm who it was.”

At first Cane thought the persons who did it were from a nearby encampment.

“It was very, very frightening.”

Cane went out in his Jeep and searched for the people. When he didn’t find them, he returned home.

That’s when the trouble started for Cane.

“About two-split seconds after I pulled into the driveway I noticed four or five vehicles coming at a fairly high rate of speed in our little neighbourhood. They all stopped in front of the house and everybody dismounted from the vehicles.”

Cane didn’t have a clue whey they were there. But clearly they were upset and yelling.

It was the parents of the youths who had played a Tik Toc challenge or commonly referred to as Nicky Nicky Nine Doors. When a person or persons run up to a door bang on it, then run away.

But at the time Cane didn’t know who they were or why they were targeting him. Stating things like he hit there children with his vehicle and was going to kill them.

Cane told them to leave his property numerous times, but they didn’t.

When one of the people reached for Cane’s arm, is when Cane admits he pulled out a pocket knife.

“I’m already on my property, I’m worried about my father, I’m worried about myself – so yeah, I pulled out a very small pocket knife and it never left my chest.”

“Being a military veteran with PTSD and having gone through many, many harrowing incidents I’m always really concerned. That’s why I do checks around my house. But did I expect it – of course not.”

It was only at that time that police were called. The parents did not call the police before when the youths told a story about what had happened.

Cane’s lawyer Alan Richter said bluntly, “it’s weaponizing the criminal code.”

“You lie to the police about somebody to get somebody in trouble falsely. Clearly they didn’t care about the consequences to Todd.”

“Todd represents the best of Canadians, he’s was a soldier for years, was over in Afghanistan and is retired now. And these kids, more predominantly their families represent frankly the worst of Canadians.”

“It was a bunch of kids, doing stupid kid things.”

Richter said when Cane went looking for the unknown person/s who banged on the door, the kids who actually did it, “got in touch with their parents and started telling stories. Stories about being hit by Todd’s jeep. Stories about Todd yelling and screaming that he was going to kill them. A short while later Todd is facing a lynch mob of what I would describe as really bad, bad parenting.”

“They came down his driveway, onto his property, all of them are trespassing, threatening Todd. Accusing him of trying to kill their children – a lynch mob. They only lacked the torches and pitchforks.”

Richter reiterates that police were only called when Cane pulled the knife to defend himself from the people who wouldn’t leave his property.

“These parents so concerned about Todd having hit their children with a vehicle never thought to call the police. They took it upon themselves to come to Todd’s house in the evening and threaten Todd as a group. Clearly in their minds they thought they were entitled to do that. They thought they were right to do that. So it’s really not surprising that their kids acted the way they did.”
Richter said he was surprised the youths weren’t charged.

“At the very least they should have been charged with public mischief. Kicking somebody’s door at 9:30 p.m. for the purposes of a Tik Tok video certainly warrants a charge of mischief. But then to take it to the next step of lying – accusing Todd of having hit them with a car. What they claimed was, Todd hit them with the bumper of his Jeep. But he wasn’t going very fast when he did it. The officer that attended noted no injuries on the kids, no marks on their clothes, no dirt on their clothes. These kids were never hit – they lied about it. And they lied to their parents and their parents continued to lie to the police. That should have resulted in a charge of public mischief.”

“It is a shame the parents get to act that way and have absolutely no repercussions to their terrible, terrible conduct.”

Richter said Cane reacted to a situation.

“The kids – they planned out their misconduct. Todd just simply reacted. And when he came back to his house after going out and looking and not finding them. When he came back to his house, he was confronted by the parents of these kids.”

“It isn’t a stretch to say that the kids called their mommies and daddies making up a story that the mom and dad clearly didn’t bother to question.”

“If they had questioned it, their first action would have been to contact the police.”

But the parents didn’t do that.

“They take it upon themselves to come here to Todd’s house as a lynch mob.”

“That gives a pretty clear impression of what their intentions are and that they think they’re entitled to do this.”

In the disclosure, it stated one of the parents was taking up “an awful lot of the police officer’s time as he was trying to interview the various witnesses. It appears she was interjecting herself into all of the interviews to the point that the officer had to tell her to go away.”

“They (the parents) had to have had in the back of their mind that coming here (Cane’s house) was going to lead to something. It wasn’t going to end up with hugs and apologizes. Because that’s not what they wanted. They came down the driveway accusing Todd of trying to kill their kids. Those are strong accusations. The kind of accusations that if they were true – you’d bring it to the attention of the police.”

When one of the people came at Cane “aggressively,” Cane pulled out a pocket knife.

“Todd had been telling them, get off my property, get away from me. Todd in response pulled out the knife and told them all quite loudly and impolitely to leave his property. And at that point they called the police.”

Richter adds that from the information provided to police about the incident, he doesn’t blame the officer.

“It couldn’t have been an easy situation for him. I got the sense as I reviewed the disclosure that fairly quickly he picked up on the fact that Todd isn’t the monster that these people are making him out to be.”

Cane admits he doesn’t know much about the law, but was “a little shocked” when he was charged and the youths that played the prank weren’t.

Word travelled through the military community that Cane was facing numerous charges.

Cane said thousands of veterans he’s served with have contacted him during the past several months.

“It’s a very slippery slope when a veteran is approached by someone. And I can guarantee you that they were all on the edge of their seats because many, if not all of them have the same issues.”

“I’m very, very happy that Alan was able to squash this and charges were withdrawn, but it has changed my life.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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