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Jury shown video of Nathaniel Veltman pacing in police cell after arrest in attack on Muslim family

Warning: This story contains distressing details.

For hours, Nathaniel Veltman paces back and forth in his tiny jail cell at London, Ont., police headquarters, sometimes sitting or laying down, following his arrest the evening of June 6, 2021.

This footage of the accused in custody is from lengthy police video shown to the jury Thursday at his murder-terror trial in Ontario Superior Court in Windsor, in connection with the attack on a Muslim family.

At 9:47 p.m. ET that day, just over an hour after five members of the Afzaal family were struck by a truck at the intersection of Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road, the accused is brought into a small room made available to people who are arrested so that he and a lawyer could speak in private. 

The video, which was played mostly on fast forward to the jury, follows the accused for about 10 hours — from that room, to a cell with a concrete bed, to a corridor that takes him to a police interview room, back out to a larger cell with two concrete beds and a toilet, and then out to be fingerprinted and back again. 

The day after his arrest, at 7:23 a.m. on June 7, he is given breakfast. 

The video evidence was presented by defence lawyer Chris Hicks during cross-examination of Viktor Poc, a London police forensic analyst who pulled the videos and went through them for the court. 

Thursday marked Day 4 of the proceedings following jury selection last week. 

The accused, 22, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, along with associated terror counts. 

Viktor Poc, a civilian forensic analyst with the London Police Service, testifies in Superior Court about video footage of the accused’s time in custody in the hours after his arrest the same evening as the attack. (Pam Davies/CBC)

Yumnah Afzaal, 15, her parents, Madiha Salman, 44, and Salman Afzaal, 46, and family matriarch Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed during the vehicle attack while they were out for a summer evening walk. A young boy, nine years old at the time, survived. 

Prosecutors allege they were targeted because they were wearing traditional Pakistani clothing and were Muslim. 

The police video, which has no audio, shows the accused pacing in the cells, sometimes lying down on the concrete bed, relieving himself (although that has been blacked out in the video), sitting down and getting back up to pace some more. 

Agreed facts that won’t be argued

Earlier in the trial, the Crown and defence lawyers agreed on a number of facts that won’t be argued, including that the accused drove the black Dodge Ram pickup truck into the family.  

After the crash, he drove erratically toward Cherryhill Mall, where he pulled into the parking lot and approached a cab driver waiting for calls, court has heard. 

On Tuesday, the jury saw video of the pickup truck turning into the mall parking lot and the accused approaching the cabbie, who testified he called 911 after the pickup truck’s driver told him to “call the cops.”  

The jury also heard the 911 call made by the cabbie during which the accused can be heard saying “It was me. It was me that did it. It was me that crashed into those people,” before he told the dispatcher, “I did it on purpose.” 

On Monday, the jury saw video surveillence footage of the pickup heading north on Hyde Park Road past the Afzaal family, who were waiting at the crossing at South Carriage Road. Lawyers say the truck does a U-turn off-camera, then is seen in the video heading south toward the family.

In video released this week, data from the truck shows he steered toward the family five seconds before impact and his accelerator pedal was 100 per cent compressed.

Nathaniel Veltman's truck is seen travelling north on Hyde Park Road, just north of South Carriage Road, in a still of a video released by the court to the media on Thursday.
The accused’s truck is seen travelling north on Hyde Park Road, just north of South Carriage Road, on June 6, 2021, in a still image from a video released by the court to the media on Thursday and seen by the jury on Monday. (Supplied by Ontario Superior Court)

Proceedings for the trial, which is expected to last eight weeks, continue Friday. 

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