Criminal Charges Against WRPS Officer Withdrawn

media release

On May 22, 2020, the Ontario Court of Justice withdrew criminal charges against Waterloo Regional Police Sergeant Richard Dorling.

Sergeant Dorling was charged by the Special Investigations Unit on November 28, 2018 with the following:

  • One count of attempt murder, contrary to s. 239; 
  • One count of aggravated assault, contrary to s. 268; 
  • One count of discharge firearm with intent, contrary to s. 244(1); and
  • One count of discharge firearm-reckless endangerment, contrary to s. 244.2(1)(b). 

The charges were laid in relation to an incident that occurred on March 31, 2018 in Cambridge when a stolen vehicle was located in an industrial area. WRPS officers responded, located a male and an interaction occurred where Sergeant Dorling discharged his firearm.

The man who was shot during the incident was found guilty on March 6, 2020 of six offences, including possession of stolen firearms. During the trial, Justice Toni Skarica stated that “Sergeant Dorling made a decision to risk his life to do his duty to protect the community from what he, on reasonable grounds, believed was a fully armed fugitive fleeing a crime scene.”

The Justice further stated that “I find that, in law, Sergeant Dorling did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong.”

“The withdrawal of the charges against Sergeant Dorling today support Justice Skarica’s comments and acknowledges the fact that Sergeant Dorling’s actions were not, in any way, criminal in nature,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police for the Waterloo Regional Police Service.

“Police officers in the field face significant, complex challenges that require split second decision making. The Waterloo Regional Police Service is pleased that this matter has been resolved through the withdrawal of charges by the independent, out of town prosecutor assigned to the case. We are even more pleased that Sergeant Dorling can move forward with his career and put this matter behind him.”

Media Inquiries:

Cherri Greeno

Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Information

Executive Branch

Waterloo Regional Police Service

519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8773

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