Week three of the trial for a man accused of running down a Muslim family in London continued with testimony from the arresting officer.
London Police Constable Sarah Cochrane was on the stand Tuesday and testified she was concerned when she arrived at Cherryhill Village Mall shorty after the Afzaal family was deliberately run down by Nathaniel Veltman's pickup truck on June 6, 2021, and noticed a man already kneeling on ground with his hands behind his head without being asked. Cochrane pointed to Veltman in Ontario Superior Court in Windsor as the man she arrested at the mall.
The constable said she asked Veltman to lay on his stomach with his hands out to gauge his level of compliance. She then handcuffed him and searched him for evidence and weapons, adding Veltman was cooperative.
The court heard Veltman was wearing an army helmet and a bullet proof vest and had an empty knife sheath, and Cochrane added "He seemed happy. He was smiling. He didn't seem upset."
An agreed statement of facts shows two knives, a machete, and an airsoft pistol were found in Veltman's pickup.
Cochrane also testified that Veltman was first charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle, then minutes later charged with attempted murder, and shortly after that he was charged with first degree murder, adding Veltman continued to smile.
Earlier in the day, London Police Detective Michael Budzyn was examined and cross-examined while forensic photos taken at Veltman's London apartment were shown to the jury.
Budzyn was responsible for following Veltman's pickup to the towing compound on June 7, 2021, at 5:20 a.m. then securing the pickup in a bay and sealing the door.
Budzyn testified he also helped search Veltman's apartment, seized his passport, his birth certificate, his wallet, and bagged and sealed them.
Also seized were two pieces of paper. One with speeds and percentage calculations written down, ranging between 35 kilometres per hour and 65 km/h. The note also had “+++ even more” written at the bottom of the page. The other note had “Can armoire. Someone is going to town.”
Det. Budzyn told the court he also found a key to a Ram pickup truck with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN#) matching Veltman's VIN# registered with the Ministry of Transportation, adding he was responsible for the control and continuity of evidence.
The cross-examination of Cst. Cochrane is set for Wednesday morning.
Veltman pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after his truck intentionally hit five members of the Afzaal family while they were out for a walk on the evening of June 6, 2021.
Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal were all killed. Their 9-year-old son at the time was the lone survivor.