By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative
A Chatham-Kent police officer apprehended several times in the past year was arrested and charged again.
On Monday, Const. Cristelle Vanden Enden was arrested by members of the Windsor Police Service and charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
On Jan. 9 police responded to a residence in Chatham to assist EMS with an injured 40-year-old Chatham man. He was transported to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance for medical attention and has since been released from the hospital.
The matter was turned over to the Windsor Police Service once the Chatham-Kent Police Service (CKPS) suspected Vanden Enden may have been the driver of the vehicle which injured the man.
Her bail hearing was set for Tuesday, via teleconference, however, the matter was adjourned after Vanden Enden’s counsel was delayed in another courtroom.
The court decided there was not enough time to complete the hearing in one day.
The justice who is presiding over the case, David Auger, was a sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police in Chatham. Both Vanden Enden’s counsel and the defense found there to be no conflict of interest as he had not heard of her until the trial.
The matter will be adjourned to Jan. 20. The judge also issued an order requesting that Vanden Enden not be in contact with four individuals.
Vanden Enden will also be appearing in court the following day for separate charges. Earlier this month she was charged with three counts of drug possession following a traffic stop by Leamington OPP. She was released and a week later she was charged with breaching her release conditions.
These are not the only charges Vanden Enden had to contend with.
In May 2020, Vanden Enden was charged with fraud under $5,000, causing the use of a forged document and possession of stolen property, after a local citizen reported to police that he had some personal blank cheques stolen. The report was made in Dec. 2019 and the matter was handed over to the Sarnia police once the police suspected a local officer was involved.
Four months later, in August, Vanden Enden was charged with drug possession. It was decided that the charge would be withdrawn if she completed a program called Direct Accountability – an alternative to formal prosecution for people who have been charged with minor criminal offences.
The Chatham-Kent Police Service have not released any further information or comments on the matters in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the pending Police Services Act investigation.
Vanden Enden remains on medical leave from the CKPS.