Mantler's partner takes the stand
Jul 10, 2012 / 2:22 pm
Cst. Rick Goodwin never saw his partner Cst. Geoff Mantler hit Manjiet Singh Bhatti in the face back in August of 2010.
In fact, Goodwin's recollection of the details surrounding Bhatti's arrest are very different than how the victim remembered them in court on Monday.
Goodwin testified Tuesday in a Kelowna court room that the night Bhatti was arrested both he and his partner were parked in a marked police car at a red light near Tonics Bar, watching a drug deal go down near the TD Bank.
The officer says he saw the transaction and decided to pull into the alley. It was then that he saw Bhatti riding towards him on his bicycle. According to Goodwin, Mantler yelled out to 'stop', but Bhatti did not, instead yelling 'f*** you' as he rode around the patrol car.
The two officers followed Bhatti, losing him at one point behind the Royal Bank but locating him again as he tried to cross Harvey near Richter Street.
Goodwin told the court Bhatti was trying to ride along the meridian behind the patrol car to escape, but instead Goodwin stopped the car blocking the suspect.
The officer managed to stop Bhatti, and Goodwin says he gave up right away throwing his hands in the air.
Goodwin, who had been on the force for just over five years at the time, says he arrested Bhatti right beside the patrol car, and that the bicycle was at his feet, not five to ten feet away as Bhatti testified.
Goodwin says he placed Bhatti against the patrol car where his partner Mantler helped to cuff the suspect. Goodwin explained that when he forced Bhatti against the patrol car it was possible he may have hit his head and knocked off his glasses unintentionally.
At no point did Goodwin see his partner Mantler physically assault Bhatti. Instead he says he doesn't know how Bhatti's glasses actually fell off or how he hurt his eye, but believes it must have happened while he was being cuffed.
Goodwin says Bhatti was not bleeding and did not have a bloody nose, as Bhatti told the court.
Even when searched at the detachment, Goodwin says he did not see any blood on Bhatti or on his clothes.
During a short recess, Bhatti told reporters that he did not hit his head on the patrol car or there would have been a mark on the vehicle and that he did have blood on his face as the photo taken after his arrest proves.
Bhatti had told the court that Mantler yelled at him, calling him a "crack head Hindu, goof" and that the officer was excited. Goodwin disagreed, saying Mantler was calm and that he didn't remember his partner talking to Bhatti.
Goodwin did say that he remembered Bhatti accusing him of beating him up, to which Goodwin replied, 'no I did not'. Bhatti then told the officer that his partner had hit him.
The court was shown a video of Bhatti being taking into the detachment and searched. Bhatti hides his face while giving his name, and he is yelled at by Goodwin to sit up. Goodwin tells the court he thinks Bhatti was high and that he was tweaking. Bhatti is heard on the video complaining about his eye and that his wallet was missing. Goodwin tells him that his wallet must have fallen out while he was riding his bike trying to escape.
Bhatti is put into the 'drunk tank', and the video shows him curled up in the corner once again hiding his face. Mantler visits the cell for about one minute, but Bhatti says he doesn't remember what Mantler said to him because he was in too much pain.
Mantler's lawyer Nevel McDougall asked Goodwin if he told Bhatti he would get him medical attention. Goodwin replied that Mantler was looking into the request for medical attention by reporting to the watch commander, which was protocol. Goodwin also explained that a lot of people asked for medical attention or to be taken to hospital to avoid spending the night in a cell.
Bhatti testified that upon his release he filed a complaint of assault against Cst. Mantler, however it wasn't until 65 days later that Goodwin was asked to provide a statement about the incident.
When speaking to reporters, Bhatti says he believes Goodwin couldn't remember what happened exactly the night of the arrest because it had been too long, and accused Goodwin of covering for his partner.
The supervisor of the downtown enforcement, Cpl. Jason Arnold, also took the stand on Tuesday. Both Mantler and Goodwin had been assigned to downtown enforcement at the time of the incident.
Arnold says Mantler provided a statement when he was asked regarding what took place during Bhatti's arrest.
According to Arnold, Mantler consulted his lawyer before he submitted a typewritten statement on December 9, 2010, three months after the assault allegedly took place.
Arnold says Mantler was not threatened into making a statement and that the allegation of abuse was filed back in September, at the appropriate time.
Mantler was set to take the stand in his own defence on Tuesday but that did not happen.
More details to follow.
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