Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City police mourning loss of 'a great heart'

Street cop gained fame as a highly ranked boxer

  • Print

Winnipeg police are grieving for one of their own, a storied officer who was once a championship-level boxer and was known as an outstanding street cop.

Const. Peter O'Kane succumbed to a head injury Wednesday after an off-duty fall down the stairs of a friend's home on the weekend. He was 42.

The popular officer, who was born in Ireland, died from critical brain trauma. He had been on life-support following the mishap.

Fellow officers learned the news through an internal memo.

"We lost a great heart," one officer said. "He was a good spirit. There are a lot of police officers in mourning."

Another police source said O'Kane had put a recent court case behind him and was entering a new phase of his career. He was also in a new relationship and in love.

O'Kane was in peak physical shape, said the colleague.

"People who thought they knew Peter thought he was dumb because of the way he spoke. He slurred his speech. They had no idea how intelligent he was. He was into history and geography and current affairs," the source said.

He said O'Kane exemplified old-school policing. "It's what he wanted to do more than anything. He didn't like bullies," he said.

"Pete was the kind of guy our dads would've been proud to call a friend," said the source. "I don't know if they plan to donate any of his organs, but if they do, whoever gets his heart is going to have quite a heart to deal with."

O'Kane was once the No. 2-ranked cruiserweight in Canada. His fight career began in 1999 while employed as a police officer and ended in 2006. He was trained by Winnipeg's Donny "The Golden Boy" Lalonde, a former world champion.

He once challenged an associate of the Hells Angels, Ralph "Junior" Moar, to a sanctioned bout in the ring, only to have police brass nix the fight, citing a conflict of interest.

More recently, O'Kane was cleared of perjury in a February 2011 decision, only to have the acquittal reversed earlier this fall on appeal.

The charges stemmed from an allegedly improper search of a downtown hotel room -- he and his partner were alleged to have lied to a magistrate to obtain a search warrant -- and the seizure of nearly a kilogram of cocaine and $18,000 cash in 2005. The Crown stayed drug-trafficking charges against the suspect and an accomplice when questions were raised at a preliminary hearing about the validity of the police search warrant.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2012 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman talks "job number one" in News Café interview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Pimicikamak First Nation's protest against Manitoba Hydro?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google