Suspect caught in attack on Montreal police officer that led to wrongful arrest

·2 min read

Montreal police say a suspect is to appear in court Friday in connection with a January attack on one of their officers that saw a wrongfully accused Black man arrested and held for six days.

Ali Ngarukiye was arrested in Toronto Thursday and will appear in court in Montreal on Friday.

The 21-year-old man, whose hometown was not revealed, is alleged to have been behind an attack on Const. Sanjay Vig while the officer had stopped someone else for a traffic violation on Jan. 28 in the city's Parc-Extension district.

The police officer was allegedly disarmed and fired upon with his own service weapon.

The incident led to the wrongful arrest of Mamadi III Fara Camara, who was detained for six days in connection to the assault before being released and ultimately absolved of the crime.

Camara told a Montreal television talk show he had been traumatized by the events, which included being roughly arrested and forbidden to speak to his family while detained. He said he felt jail guards viewed him as a "monster"' after his arrest, which his lawyer said happened after he witnessed the assault on the police officer and called 911.

Camara is a graduate student who oversees a laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal, and his wife is pregnant with twins. He hasn't ruled out legal action for his wrongful arrest and detention.

On Thursday, Montreal police Insp. David Shane said the force is hopeful an arrest will bring some level of closure for Camara.

"We hope that the arrest of the real suspect in this case will allow him to close a chapter on this event, which had important consequences for him as well," Shane said.

The Quebec government has ordered an independent investigation into the case, led by Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Dionne.

Police remain mum on a possible motive behind the attack and would only say that Vig had never given out a ticket to the accused. They have yet to recover Vig's missing weapon, but Shane said search warrants are being executed in Toronto at locations the accused frequented.

Shane said the DNA of the suspect was allegedly found at the crime scene and that the DNA of Vig was found on objects allegedly under the control of the accused.

According to a charge sheet filed at the Montreal courthouse, Ngarukiye faces seven counts including attempted murder, aggravated assault against a police officer, disarming a police officer, discharging a firearm and two counts of vehicle theft.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2021.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press