Salmon Arm  

No charges against police in Sicamous arrest that saw suspect lose a testicle

No charges in rough arrest

The BC Prosecution Service has approved no charges against two police officers following a 2020 Shuswap arrest in which the suspect suffered serious injuries.

The incident happened on April 14, 2020, near Sicamous, during the arrest of a suspect with outstanding warrants.

One officer was from the Sicamous RCMP detachment, and the second from Salmon Arm.

Because of the serious nature of the injuries, the incident was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office, which determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe the two officers may have committed offences.

However, the prosecution service concluded the available evidence does not meet charge assessment standard, and the Crown would not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that either officer committed any offence.

About 12 p.m. that day, officers responded to a report of a suspicious person and vehicle on a forest service road off Highway 97A near Sicamous.

Police believed the vehicle belonged to a man with eight outstanding warrants who had been living in his car.

Members of the Sicamous, Salmon Arm, and Revelstoke RCMP met at the bottom of the forest service road to initiate a plan to arrest the suspect.

The first officer set up two spike belts near the entrance to Highway 97A and waited in a marked police SUV. Other officers set up just below that position in marked vehicles and laid out a spike belt on the road. Subject officer 2 waited in their unmarked police truck at the rest area just south of Mara Heights Road.

Several officers drove up the service road and when the suspect was told he was under arrest, he jumped into the car and rammed a police cruiser as he headed toward the highway.

The suspect drove over the spike belts, deflating three tires, and the hood of the vehicle also flew up.

The officers in question followed the vehicle northbound on the highway, with lights and sirens activated.

When the first officer overtook and blocked the highway, the suspect attempted to drive into the ditch, but the officer backed into the car, stopping it.

Then, the suspect got out and ran down the highway. Officer 1 gave chase and tackled the man, who landed face down on the pavement.

The officer struck the suspect in the head with their hand or fist. And, four seconds of video from the police cruiser suggest the second officer kicked and punched the suspect.

Other officers arrived at the scene about 20 seconds after the foot chase began and found the officers struggling with the suspect. A five-inch hunting knife was on the ground nearby.

After the man was brought under control, the first officer requested an ambulance be dispatched to the scene.

One arrived 24 minutes later, and the man was treated for injuries to his head before being taken to hospital for assessment.

A BC Emergency Health Services report stated the suspect was prone on the ground and writhing in pain.

"The suspect had several facial lacerations and abrasions, with dried blood around his nose and mouth and a swollen left eye. He had a laceration to the back of his head and bruising on his left hand. He had trauma to his testes, which caused him significant pain," the report states.

Doctors later removed his left testicle due to the injury. X-rays showed fractures of his left orbital bone, and his nasal bone.

The suspect tested positive for marijuana, methamphetamines, narcotics and cocaine.

He stated he was tackled by numerous officers and beaten severely, but admitted his recollection was vague.

Section 25(1) of the Criminal Code provides that a peace officer who acts, in the course of their lawful duties, on reasonable grounds is "justified in doing what [they are] required or authorized to do and in using as much force as necessary for that purpose."

Police training allows for an increased level of force in response to an increased level of threat.

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