The West Shore RCMP deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW) and police service dog to subdue a suicidal man last spring. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police watchdog clears West Shore RCMP in altercation that led to man needing 82 staples

The man pretended he had a weapon he would use against the police

The West Shore RCMP has been cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to a suicidal man who was seriously injured after being subdued by a conducted energy weapon (CEW) and police service dog last spring.

Because the man’s injuries occurred in connection to the actions of police, the Independent Investigation Office (IIO) was notified to investigate whether “unauthorized or excessive force was used by any officer.”

A report released on April 7 states the officers involved were faced with a situation that was “bound to give rise to a very high-risk assessment,” but they exercised restraint by trying, over an extended period of time, to take the man into custody without harm.

RELATED: Man Tasered in View Royal after West Shore RCMP respond to disturbance call

Just after 1:30 a.m. on April 22, 2019, RCMP received two 911 calls — one from a man’s mother who told police her son was suicidal and was planning to jump off a bridge, the second was from the man himself stating that he was planning to inject himself with a syringe filled with gasoline.

RCMP were able to locate the man through cell phone ‘pings’ in an area of grass and shrubs off the Island Highway in View Royal. The man was holding a backpack with one hand inside and told the officer to “back up.” Two officers, accompanied by a police service dog, engaged the man in conversation for several minutes — audio recordings of this interaction corroborated witness officer statements provided to the IIO. As RCMP worked to de-escalated the situation and get the man to a hospital, he told the officers that they would have to “shoot or tase” him.

READ ALSO: Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Officers noted the man continued to have one hand in the backpack and was “twitching as if he was about to pull something from the bag,” states the report. One of the responding officers drew his firearm and told the man “it doesn’t have to be like this,” to which the man responded stating that he had tried to kill himself five times and this was “the way [he] want[ed] it.”

As more officers arrived on the scene, the man walked toward the nearby Upper Gorge waterway, threatening to jump in.

One of the officers told the IIO that it became clear that the man was determined to have police officers use their weapons on him.

READ ALSO: Victoria Fire Department investigating explosion at supportive housing complex

The man continued to taunt police, demanding they use their “Tasers” on him and stating that if he moved his hand — which was still in the backpack — quickly, the police would “launch something” at him. Finally, the man told the officers he was “gonna make one of [them] do something.” He stepped toward officers and motioned as if he was going to withdraw his hand quickly from the backpack. At that point, one of the officers discharged his CEW while another officer sent the police dog after the man.

The man fell to the ground and police were able to put him in handcuffs. The police dog bit him in the leg, which would later require 82 staples to close.

The IIO report states the man presented a credible threat by keeping his hand in the backpack and “pretending at any moment he would draw and use some sort of weapon.”

“Through his own, quite deliberate actions, [the man] placed himself at risk of the use by police of lethal force,” states the report, adding that it was fortunate less lethal options were available for the officers to use.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read