Saturday, July 02, 2005

Canadians behaving badly, continued

Well, well, well.
Remember that protester from Canada who was charged with assault in Philadelphia? The fellow in the case where a policeman suffered a fatal heart attack?
Well, the joker is broke, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
THE FRENCH-CANADIAN protester accused of assaulting police officers in a melee during the BIO2005 conference here said yesterday he was an unemployed baker in need of the free legal services from the Philadelphia Defenders Association.
In a thick French-Canadian accent, Guillaume Beaulieu, 23, told Municipal Judge Linda Anderson that his $10,000 bail, paid for by a group of American and Canadian protesters, was simply a loan and did not provide evidence that he has access to a defense fund.
"Just to come here is expensive and, you know, I just ask from my friend something like $13,000," he said. "For the moment I am unemployed. I was in school last session."
"I don't have any income," he said, adding that he plans to attend graduate school in the fall.
When the prosecutor asked how an indigent protester paid for a trip from Quebec to Philadelphia, Beaulieu said he hitchhiked here for the demonstration.
Police said the confrontation at the demonstration began after Beaulieu threw water on Police Officer Edward Braceland. Braceland then chased the Canadian and a scuffle broke out, police said. Police Officer Paris Williams, of the Civil Affairs Unit, became embroiled in the melee but collapsed and died of a heart attack.
Three other protesters were arrested and charged with misdemeanors.
Beaulieu, dressed in a gray suit and wearing his frizzy hair in a tangled tuft, was in court yesterday for a scheduled preliminary hearing on two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, conspiracy and disorderly conduct.
The hearing was postponed, but Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry still asked Judge Anderson to remove public defender Bradley Bridge from the case.
"At the end of the day it seems to me there are many indigent people in Philadelphia" who should benefit from free legal service first, Barry said.
Anderson, saying that the case was "politically sensitive" and that she "didn't want to touch it," recused herself. She sent the case to another judge.
"I would hold him probably on a half a million [dollars] bail, but I'm not going to touch it," Anderson said.
Barry said he would raise the issue again during a July 15 status hearing.
At the D.A.'s request, Anderson last week increased Beaulieu's bail to $100,000. He was required to pay 10 percent. Bridge said he did not believe that the judge was trying to elude the political fray, but wanted to avoid any conflict from deciding both the issue of bail and of financial eligibility for a public defender.
Bridge said Beaulieu, who plans to return to Canada, has suffered "a lot of anxiety" since his arrest.
"He's not guilty of any felonies," Bridge said. "To think someone is guilty of a felony for throwing water on someone is ridiculous."
Beaulieu declined to comment. He is free to travel back to Canada but he had to surrender his passport.

He's Canadian. He's broke. And his defense is on our dime.
Sounds something like the Canadian government, eh? (At least as far as the defense is concerned.)