Testimonies Detail Grim Scene in Veltman’s Terrorism-Motivated Murder Trial

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On Thursday, testimonies from three constables punctuated the superior court proceedings in the ongoing trial of 22-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, standing trial for four charges of terrorism-motivated first-degree murder and one for attempted murder of the same nature.

The case harkens back to a disturbing event that took place on June 6, 2021, at the intersection of Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road in London, Ont. Four members from the Afzaal family lost their lives and a young boy was severely injured when a pickup truck crashed into them on the sidewalk.

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Constables Michael Olszowy and Brock Dease, who happened to be on their 12th shift together with the London Police Service, were immediately dispatched to the crash scene. Dease’s narrations of the gruesome predicament presented a chilling picture for the court. He described the first victim he came across – an elderly woman prone on the street, presumably suffering from broken limbs, abdomen wounds, and facial trauma.

Among the commotion of screaming bystanders, he was made aware of a young injured boy for whom he left the elderly woman in another officer’s care to tend to. Dease recounted the boy’s distressed queries and noticed hand injuries. Soon after, citizens directed him to yet another victim.

He found the third victim, a teenage girl, prone under a ‘for sale’ sign, her eyes wide open and head moving, but seemingly unable to mobilize her body. Soon after, a paramedic took over her care.

Dease returned to the first victim, the elderly woman, only to be informed that CPR had been discontinued by the attending firefighter. This was when he noticed the gathering crowd and steered them back, repositioning his cruiser to obstruct traffic. He also mentioned noticing tire tracks in the grass.

Constable Olszowy saw a woman lying on the ground but his evidence was abruptly cut off due to a sudden legal dispute between the attorneys and he wasn’t asked any further questions.

Constable Patti Leavoy-Costa was summoned to the stand as the third officer testifying. She was initially en route to the crash scene but was dispatched to a nearby mall for an apparent suspect’s capture.

Upon pulling into the mall parking lot, Leavoy-Costa’s attention was immediately caught by a military-style helmet, later found out to be donned by Veltman. Upon his arrest, she secured his truck which was still running and seeming to produce smoking and discovered a machete in the door pocket and a pocketknife on the center console.

Despite his arrest, Leavoy-Costa described Veltman as being “excitable”, continually yelling, and oddly, maintaining an evident smile. This characterization drew an objection from Christopher Hicks, Veltman’s defence lawyer, prompting the jury’s dismissal for the day.

The trial is slated to resume at 10 a.m on Friday with Leavoy-Costa’s evidence taking center stage.