Local Journalism Initiative
A series of incidents spanning more than two years caught up to Alesandro Gagliardi in Sarnia court.
Stunt driving, resisting arrest and assault were just some of the charges Gagliardi, 49, plead guilty to on Aug. 25, in what Justice Deborah Austin called “absolutely outrageous behavior.”
However a joint submission from Crown and defense attorneys resulted in much less punishment time than the judge believed the crimes deserved.
The charges date back to May 2018. While already under a bail condition not to drive, Gagliardi was clocked by an OPP officer at 10:30 am travelling 146 km/h in an 80 km/h zone along Kimball Rd.
The officer made a traffic stop. As he approached the car a woman had moved into the driver’s seat and said she had been the one driving. Gagliardi was seen in the backseat with the woman’s teenage daughter. The officer led the woman to his cruiser while Gagliardi yelled at her not to answer any questions.
As the officer and woman began talking Gagliardi became upset and exited the vehicle. He clenched his fists and advanced on the pair despite orders to stop. When Gagliardi got closer the officer struck Gagliardi in the mid section with his knee, dropping him to the ground.
Gagliardi fought off the officer and ran back to his car to lock himself in. Several officers had now arrived on scene. Gagliardi refused to unlock the doors until officers said they would break the windows. When he did open the door, he started fighting and clinging to the inside of the car when officers attempted to get him out. Officers were finally able to remove Gagliardi and arrest him.
2020 saw more serious incidents. On July 24, Gagliardi and the same woman got into an argument at a Sarnia home. The fight between the common law couple started inside but spilled onto the front lawn. When the woman tried to leave Gagliardi grabbed her hair and threw her to the ground. He then tried to drag her inside the garage.
A pair of witnesses saw the fight and intervened, despite Gagliardi yelling at them to get off his property. They helped the woman away and phoned police. Officers arrived to find Gagliardi hiding in a bedroom closet, and he was arrested.
Two weeks later Gagliardi was seen outside the woman’s house late at night. He had been ordered to stay away from her. When police arrived Gagliardi was gone, but his vehicle was there.
When Sarnia Police went to Gagliardi’s residence they found him in the driveway and told him he was under arrest. Gagliardi swore at the officers shouting “I’m not under arrest” and ran toward the street. He was cut off by one officer. When he ran back toward the garage the officer’s partner made the arrest.
“The facts give rise to concern about public safety in relation to Mr. Gagliardi’s conduct toward motor vehicles, his conduct toward police, and his conduct toward his partner. Lack of adherence to court orders as well,” says Austin.
Despite Gagliardi’s many pleas, Crown attorney Melanie Nancekievill and defense lawyer James Guggisberg settled on a joint position of just two months in jail. With time served, Gagliardi only had three days remaining behind bars. Gagliardi also received a $2,000 fine and license suspension for the vehicle offenses.
In “deciding to reluctantly respect the joint submission,” Austin acknowledged that the woman wouldn’t testify against Gagliardi, and that he had some health concerns.
“In my view the sentence that would ordinarily flow for this combination of offenses would certainly be… much higher and much longer than the joint submission,” Austin says. “His time in custody… is something that will hopefully have some kind of helpful and stabilizing impact.”
Gagliardi is on probation for the next 18 months. He can’t contact the woman, must take counselling for anger management and substance abuse, provide a DNA sample, and is banned from having weapons for 10 years.