Vittorio Dominelli, a former officer for the Toronto Police Service, pleaded guilty Friday to obstruction of justice in connection with consuming a confiscated marijuana-infused chocolate bar while on duty and then calling for backup.
Dominelli, 36, entered the guilty plea in an Ontario courtroom along with a statement of facts recalling the embarrassing Jan. 28 incident, Canadian media reported.
According to the statement read in court, Dominelli admittedly pocketed three marijuana-infused, hazelnut-flavored chocolate bars that had been confiscated during an early morning raid on a Toronto dispensary, outlets reported. He subsequently consumed one of the bars while on duty, fell ill and dialed for help.
“My heart was pounding. I felt like it was going to come out of my mouth,” Dominelli said in a court document, The Toronto Star reported Friday. “I realized instantly what a stupid thing I had done … At that point, I did not care any more about the prospects of getting caught or the professional consequences, I just wanted medical help.”
Dominelli dialed a dispatcher, reported an officer in need of assistance and requested an ambulance.
“I think I’m going to pass out. … I’m just lightheaded,” Dominelli said during the phone call, the newspaper reported.
Police were dispatched to the scene, but one of the responding officers slipped and fell and had to be hospitalized for a serious head injury, according to prosecutors.
More than 10 months later, the injured police officer continues to suffer from “significant difficulties with speech and vision,” said Crown Prosecutor Philip Perlmutter, The Star reported.
Dominelli indicated he “deeply regrets his actions,” the newspaper reported.
Justice Mary Misener, meanwhile, called him a “complete idiot,” CTV News Toronto reported.
“The conduct here, you can’t describe it as anything other than stupid,” she said, according to The Star’s report. “On the continuum, this is on the very low end, but nevertheless this is an evidence tampering case before me.
A 13-year veteran of the force, Dominelli resigned from the department earlier this week.
Dominelli “lost the trust of the policing community and the public to the point where he could no longer be a police officer,” said his lawyer, Peter Brauti, The Star reported.
Prosecutors withdrew a separate charge of criminal breach of trust Friday, outlets reported.
Sentencing details were not immediately clear.
Jamie Young, a current Toronto police constable also charged in connection with the incident, is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 15 and remains suspended with pay, CTV reported.
Canada legalized recreational marijuana last month, and provinces including Ontario have since implemented systems for legal pot sales.
Toronto police officers can use marijuana, according to newly implemented policy, albeit no sooner than 28 days prior to reporting for duty, CTV reported previously.