Surrey Mounties won’t be charged in ‘broken hand’ case

It'll remain a mystery how arrested man's hand was broken.

It will remain a mystery how a man's hand got broken

SURREY — Criminal charges will not be laid against three Surrey RCMP officers who arrested a man in Newton in late 2014, under the Liquor Control and Licencing Act/

The arrest happened in a pathway near 76th Avenue and King George Boulevard on the afternoon of Oct. 10, 2014. No names have been released.

The man was brought to the ground and handcuffed. His hand was broken but it hasn’t been established if that was a result of the arrest.

Nevertheless, as a result of the injury the IIO, or Independent Investigations Office, conducted an investigation after which the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) decided the evidence brought before it doesn’t support the laying of charges.

Section 25(1) of the Criminal Code says a police officer is justified in using force to make an arrest, provided that he or she has reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest and uses no more force than what’s reasonably necessary. Further, Section 26 governs situations where excessive force is used and an arresting officer is held criminally responsible.

In this case, the Surrey RCMP received a 911 call about a man “acting aggressively” and telling  someone who was about to board a bus that “the guys at the bus stop are going to get beat up pretty soon.”

When the police arrived, according to the CJB, police found the suspect drinking beer and an officer told him to follow him to his car to confirm his identity. The suspect began to walk away, and the officer took him to the ground.

The other police officers then joined in the arrest. The suspect was taken to the RCMP lockup where, after his handcuffs were removed, he was seen on closed circuit TV repeatedly striking the cell door with his hands and feet. After about an hour, he complained about pain in his hand and paramedics took him to hospital to be treated for broken bones in his left hand. It, and his wrist, were put in a cast.

The suspect, according to the CJB, later said he’d drank four beers that day and after attempting to satisfy the officer’s request for proof of identity, and the cop started yelling at him, he started walking towards the other officers and that’s when the first cop knocked him to the ground and held him there, chest down and arms stretched out. The other officers joined in, he said, and one of them stepped on his left hand.

He said he didn’t remember hitting the cell door but admitted it could have happened. The CJB determined the evidence could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt who or what exactly broke the man’s hand.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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