Innocent man named in OPP report due to police error

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A Rockwood man is thanking the community for notifying him after local police incorrectly identified him in a media report, falsely suggesting he was charged with criminal offences following a traffic stop in Guelph.

The original July 12 report, printed in the July 21 issue of the Advertiser, stated that on June 23 at about 12am, Wellington County OPP officers responded to a complaint about a grey SUV, later determined to be stolen, that was “being driven erratically.”

The original release stated that Tyler John MacPherson, 40, of Rockwood, faced six charges – but MacPherson was never pulled over by police, nor was he charged. 

It appears the actual person charged provided MacPherson’s name to the OPP and police sent the information to the press without properly verifying it. 

In an Aug. 5 “correction,” the OPP stated “the driver misidentified themselves to officers” and “the investigation is ongoing.” 

MacPherson, who told the Advertiser a family member was impersonating him, said he would “like to thank the community for making him aware of this obvious error reported to the [newspaper]by the OPP. The good faith of the neighbourhood is greatly appreciated.” 

On Aug. 9, the OPP announced that Graham MacPherson, 37, of Rockwood, was charged with: 

– personation with intent to avoid arrest, prosecution or obstruct justice;

– driving while impaired by alcohol/drugs;

– possession of weapon for dangerous purpose;

– resisting a peace officer;

– driving while suspended; and

– two counts of possession of property obtained by crime (one over $5,000, one under $5,000).

He is to appear in Guelph court at a later date.