Residents complain of ‘power-tripping cop’ stopping vehicles with two or more people

Both OPP detachments in area say their officers aren’t involved

ERIN – Several residents here say they have been stopped in their vehicles by an OPP officer and told to go home, even though they were complying with all laws as well as new COVID-19 isolation/gathering restrictions imposed by the province.

However, representatives of both the West Region and Caledon OPP say their officers are not involved in such practices.

The complaints received by the Advertiser involve incidents between April 2 and 5 on Wellington Road 124 around the village of Erin.

Alanna Barbara of Erin says she and her husband were pulled over by an OPP officer just before 5pm on April 2 – her birthday – on 124 west of the village of Erin.

The officer told them they shouldn’t be out “unless it was an emergency” or to purchase “essentials – and it takes one person to do that,” she said.

“He said we ‘cannot go for a drive just because we’re feeling depressed and want to get out of the house,’” Barbara stated.

She added the officer said he would charge her the next time and he also told her to share her experience with others.

Feeling her rights “were ripped away,” she called the Wellington County OPP station in Rockwood, but was told local officers were not responsible.

“Wellington County members are not stopping drivers for COVID19-related reasons.  Perhaps it’s another police service,” West Region OPP spokesperson Derek Rogers told the Advertiser.

The next closest OPP detachment is in Caledon, but spokesperson Iryna Nebogatova said officers there are not responsible.

“At this point, Caledon OPP is unaware of any of its members conducting such enforcement…” stated Nebogatova.

“Caledon OPP has taken a proactive approach in reaching out to all of its officers inquiring about such enforcement, and ensuring that none of our members are engaged in such practice.”

It may not be the solution she was hoping for,  but Barbara wants to ensure the man she calls a “power-tripping cop” doesn’t stop others.

“I’m hoping this enlightens many, including the OPP,” she stated.