A police drama that played out in the headlights of a squad car in a downtown alley seems like it could have been ripped from a Hollywood script, but it was frighteningly real.
Crown attorney Grant Hughes described the words exchanged between an offender who clutched a knife and a police officer who had drawn his gun.
"What are you going to do?" the offender, Dallas Carlisle McKinney, asked as he challenged the officer.
"Shoot you, you motherfucker," the officer replied.
On Jan. 8 around 10:30 p.m., Brandon police were called to the Crystal Hotel for what was initially reported as a fight. One of the men involved was said to have a knife.
The men had fled by the time police arrived.
In court on Monday, Hughes and defence lawyer Ryan Fawcett outlined the following series of events, pieced together with the help of surveillance footage from the hotel.
McKinney, 22, and his father had been drinking together when they and another man had gone to the hotel vendor to get more beer.
Dallas McKinney was going to buy the beer but realized he didn’t have money or his debit card.
The clerk put the beer back behind the counter and then left the area. McKinney then jumped over the counter to try to steal the beer, but bouncers arrived.
There was a scuffle before McKinney and his companions left. McKinney departed without the beer, but could be seen holding a knife as he went.
Police caught up with McKinney’s father as he urinated in a nearby alley between Seventh and Eighth streets. The father swore at the two officers and resisted their efforts to handcuff him.
It was at that point that McKinney and another man appeared at the alley, about 15 to 18 feet away.
The officer who was trying to handcuff McKinney’s dad had his back to the approaching men, but could hear his partner repeatedly yell at them to back off and get to the ground.
The officer then heard his partner draw his gun and could see that the gun was pointed in McKinney’s direction. The officer, after managing to get McKinney’s dad to the ground, turned enough to see that McKinney was clutching a knife in one hand.
That officer then drew his gun too and ordered the armed man to stay back, drop the knife and get on the ground.
It was then that McKinney — his free hand clenched in a fist — asked one officer what he was going to do, and was told he would be shot. He took three to four more steps toward the yelling officers before he threw the knife in their direction and ran.
One of the officers then holstered his gun, gave chase and managed to grab McKinney’s jacket. They tumbled over a snowbank, and the policeman landed on top of McKinney and got hold of him just as other officers arrived to help make the arrest.
Fawcett said his client had brandished the knife and stepped toward officers, but hadn’t tried to use the weapon or strike police. No one was seriously hurt.
At the jail — after getting angry because police wouldn’t give him a cigarette — McKinney declared: "I’m going to beat all these charges anyway."
In Brandon provincial court on Monday, he pleaded guilty to attempted theft and assaulting the officers. He said he would apologize to the officers, if he could, and noted that he was very intoxicated that night.
Judge Donovan Dvorak sentenced McKinney to a total of nine months, minus two months presentence custody, leaving seven months in jail to serve.
McKinney remains charged in connection with a robbery a couple of hours prior to the hotel incident.
His father, Donald Roy McKinney Sr., recently received time served of 23 days in jail for resisting arrest.
A third man still faces charges in relation to the Crystal Hotel incident.