The court hears arguments in case #28867, Daniel Asante-Mensah v. the Queen, on November 7, 2002.
In 1990, Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto issued notices to Daniel Asante-Mensah, a taxi driver who was soliciting fares at the airport without the necessary permit required under the Government Airport Concession Operations Regulations. Mr. Asante-Mensah disobeyed the notices and ignored subsequent fines. In July 1991, two airport inspectors attempted to perform a citizen’s arrest against Mr. Asante-Mensah while he was on airport property without permission. One of the inspectors touched him on the shoulder, informed him he was under arrest for trespassing, and blocked his way when he tried to escape. Mr. Asante-Mensah hit the inspector with his car door and then drove away. He was later tried and convicted of assault with intent to resist arrest. He was also charged with escaping lawful custody.
The trial judge concluded that the airport inspector had used force unlawfully and Mr. Asante-Mensah was acquitted of the charge of escaping lawful custody. However, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the inspector was acting lawfully and Mr. Asante-Mensah was thus convicted of escaping custody, a decision he is appealing to the Supreme Court.
Lawyer Scott C. Hutchison presents arguments on behalf of the Crown. Lawyer Michael W. Lacy replies briefly on behalf of Mr. Asante-Mensah.