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Police watchdog investigating Surrey man’s death

Surrey Mounties apprehended man in Newton under the Mental Health Act
Cops notify Surrey police watchdog of Surrey death. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

A police watchdog has been called to look into what blame if any the Surrey RCMP should bear in the June 28 death of a man after he was apprehended in Newton under the Mental Health Act.

The Surrey-based Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia, a civilian watchdog, was notified by BC RCMP of the incident on Monday. Dawn Roberts, director in charge of BC RCMP Communications said Surrey Mounties received calls at about 12:30 a.m. about a man “banging on vehicle doors, hiding in bushes, and stating that he was hiding from police and that people should let him into their homes.”

Four police officers found him in a back yard in the 6000 block of 134A Street and called on Emergency Health Services to attend as the man “appeared to be in medical distress,” Roberts said.

“The officers apprehended the man under the Mental Health Act. Fire Rescue were at scene and provided immediate medical assistance until EHS arrived,” she said. “Once EHS arrived they continued to provide medical support and transported the man to hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”

READ ALSO FOCUS ON Surrey’s IIO: Keeping the cops accountable

The IIO investigates what if any role police might play in cases involving serious injury or death in an effort to keep police accountable. It opened shop in 2012 and operates out of Bing Thom’s Central City Tower in Whalley.

“IIO BC is investigating to determine whether police actions are linked to the man’s death,” Roberts confirmed. “As the matter is now under investigation by the IIO BC, no further information will be released by police.”

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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