Following an altercation that left a man with serious injuries, a Prince George RCMP officer will not be facing charges.
The BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) announced today that no charges have been approved against the officer involved in the arrest of a suspect on September 8, 2015. The case was investigated by the Independent Investigation Office.
Close to 5:00 pm on the date of the incident, RCMP were conducting covert surveillance on a F-250 to investigate a reported vehicle theft.
According to a report from BCPS, they observed two people in the vehicle, and the driver was someone police had dealt with before. The officer knew him to use “dangerous, desperate and violent means to avoid arrest while engaged in criminal activity.”
“The subject officer recognized the suspect and was aware that the suspect had multiple convictions for property crime offences, including vehicle thefts, as well as a conviction for flight from police. The subject officer also knew that the suspect had previously used dangerous, desperate and violent means to avoid arrest while engaged in criminal activity. The subject officer was concerned that the suspect was determined to escape and that while driving the F-250, the suspect posed a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to police officers and others in his path.”
The officers tried to block the path of the truck, and noted that the driver appeared “bug eyed,” and that he was either surprised or had consumed drugs.
The suspects tried to flee on foot, and while one officer went to find the passenger, another, along with a police service dog (PSD), followed the driver, who attempted to climb underneath a fence.
“When the subject officer was approximately 100 feet away from the suspect, the subject officer announced, “…Stop running you are under arrest, stop or I’ll send the dog.” The suspect made eye contact with the subject officer and the subject officer felt the suspect was either “high or in a state of panic.” The suspect attempted to crawl under the fence towards the Highway. At that point the subject officer decided to deploy the PSD to apprehend the suspect.”
Within seconds the dog took hold of the suspect’s left lower leg.
The officer climbed over the fence to the other side and saw the suspect attempt to free himself from the bite, and he once again told the suspect to stop, a command which was once again ignored.
“To gain compliance of the suspect, the subject officer utilized a stun strike to the side of the suspect’s head in an effort to distract him and allow the PSD to get control of him. The stun strike had no effect. Not wanting to injure his dominant hand which recently had surgery to repair, the subject officer used two more elbow strikes to the face of the suspect.”
The suspect, however, recalled the incident differently and said the officer repeatedly questioned him about stolen merchandise and “booted” in the face multiple times – four times “for sure.”
The suspect was assessed at the detachment by Emergency Health Services and then transported by ambulance to hospital. He was observed to have multiple facial fractures including to his right orbital bone, nose, and his jaw, which was displaced. His right calf had multiple puncture wounds from the dog bite but no stitches were required. The suspect had surgery to repair his cheekbone and his jaw. His jaw was wired shut following the surgery for approximately eight weeks.”
In this case the BCPS concluded that the available evidence does not meet the charge assessment standard for approval of any charges against the police officer in connection with the incident.
Craig Douglass, spokesperson for the Prince George RCMP could not confirm whether or not the officer is still employed with them.