Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Mom guilty of grabbing officer's rifle, dislodging magazine

A McLeod Lake woman was found guilty of obstructing a police officer, after she grabbed the officer's gun and tried to disarm him to prevent the arrest of her son.
judge1

A McLeod Lake woman was found guilty of obstructing a police officer, after she grabbed the officer's gun and tried to disarm him to prevent the arrest of her son.

The verdict for Cynthia Marie Openshaw was issued April 22 in Mackenzie provincial court for a Dec. 4, 2018 incident at a her McLeod Lake home. 

Police had responded to a report that Openshaw's son, Joseph Edward Zaworski, was driving a stolen pickup truck and had tracked him to her home. 

According to a decision in which Zaworski was sentenced to three years, the suspect ran into the home with an RCMP officer in "hot pursuit." 

Openshaw, who was described as a "strong advocate" for her son, attempted to push one officer out of the house and in an ensuing struggle with another, grabbed the barrel of the officer's carbine rifle with one hand and the trigger with the other hand.

At one point, she released the magazine from the rifle but the officer was able to recover the item and chased Zaworski down the hallway. As he did, Openshaw grabbed at his leg to prevent him from arresting Zaworski. He had to kick her off to free himself.

Another officer had his gun drawn. When Openshaw grabbed the officer's arms and told him to get out of her house and put his gun away, she was thrown to the ground and subdued.

As an officer demanded he put his hands up, Zaworski picked up a hammer off the kitchen counter and threw it. The hammer struck the other officer in the forehead and leaving him stunned and on the verge of passing out. If not for the folded up toque he was wearing, the outcome could have been much worse, the court had heard.  

Zaworski, who was sentenced in January 2020, is in the process of appealing the verdict, claiming he did not intend to hit the officer but rather threw it at a light fixture and it got "hung up" there.  

Openshaw was found guilty of willfully obstructing a peace officer and taking a weapon of peace officer. She is to be sentenced at a later date.