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Officer 'had no choice'

B.C.'s prosecution service says a police officer who deployed a service dog during an arrest was not charged with any offence because he had no other way to deal with an unpredictable suspect.

The service announced in January that no charges would be approved against the Vancouver police officer, but it withheld those reasons until Thursday because a related case was before the courts.

It says in a statement that on March 16, 2016, a dog handler in an unmarked vehicle saw a speeding Toyota Echo weaving in and out of traffic and stopped the car, but when he opened his cruiser door to approach the suspect, the man drove off.

The service says the same suspect had threatened a 911 caller who said the man behaved erratically and that officers eventually ended up boxing in his vehicle.

It says the suspect failed to comply with commands to get out of the car and that the dog that was deployed bit the increasingly aggressive man's left arm, causing injuries that would require two surgeries.

The Independent Investigations Office, which investigates serious incidents involving police, submitted a report to Crown counsel, which says it found no evidence to support charges such as assault with a weapon against any of the eight officers involved in the arrest.



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