Skip to content

Officers recount dealings with Mattson

A dangerous offender hearing for an Edmonton man who has pleaded guilty to the vicious assault on an Edmonton transit service driver continued this week as the Crown presented more evidence about the man's criminal past and tendency toward anger.

A dangerous offender hearing for an Edmonton man who has pleaded guilty to the vicious assault on an Edmonton transit service driver continued this week as the Crown presented more evidence about the man's criminal past and tendency toward anger.

Gary Edwin Mattson pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated assault in May against Tom Bregg, a St. Albert man and Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) driver. The dangerous offender designation the crown is seeking would keep Mattson in prison indefinitely.

Earlier in the week, the Crown presented evidence related to several assaults at the Edmonton Remand Centre while Mattson was in custody.

On Friday afternoon several officers from both the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service testified about their encounters with Mattson, many of them describing him as loud, aggressive and hostile.

Const. Sascha Falschebner, an officer with the Cold Lake RCMP, testified about a run-in he had with Mattson on New Year's Day, when he found him outside the detachment sleeping in the officer's personal vehicle.

The officer was ending his shift at the detachment around 5:20 a.m. and used a remote starter to turn on his pick-up truck before heading home. When he approached his truck he saw Mattson in the back seat. He and another officer removed him.

Falschebner said Mattson was difficult to remove from the vehicle and grabbed on to the steering wheel and centre console while being removed.

Mattson was intoxicated and was taken to the cells area, where he was initially co-operative. But once officers removed his handcuffs he exploded with rage and attempted to strike both officers several times.

Officers eventually dragged him into the cell area and managed to restrain him long enough to walk out and close the door behind them. Mattson then began kicking the door.

Mattson pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and mischief stemming from those events. Falschebner testified that after he went back to his truck, he realized how Mattson had managed to climb in — the rear window was smashed out and there was a large fencepost sitting nearby.

Several Edmonton officers also testified about dealing with a drunk and argumentative Mattson in 2009, twice outside the York Hotel downtown and writing him tickets for either being intoxicated in public or in one case trespassing because he had been banned from the establishment.

Vicious attack

The attack against Bregg took place on the morning of Dec. 3, 2009, when he was driving an ETS bus near 137 Avenue and Victoria Trail and Mattson ran after it.

Bregg stopped the vehicle and let Mattson on. An argument ensued over the fare, even after Mattson was offered money by another passenger.

Bregg eventually demanded Mattson get off the bus. Mattson refused and continued arguing with Bregg, before punching him repeatedly, dragging him from the bus and hitting him more than a dozen times.

Bregg's recovery took months, with lengthy hospital stays in intensive care and at a rehabilitation hospital.

While not mandatory with the dangerous offender designation, the Crown made it clear in their opening arguments that they would like to see Mattson indefinitely imprisoned.

The hearing ran across four days this week, and more evidence is scheduled for more time in February and possibly March, before a decision can be reached.