SURREY — Three Surrey Mounties will not face criminal charges related to the 2015 arrest of a man whose right hip was later discovered to be fractured, the Criminal Justice Branch announced this week.
“The force used to gain control of the suspect was objectively reasonable in the circumstances, given his persistent resistance, his escalation of the intensity of resistance, his size, and his ability to thwart the subject officers,” Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for the CJB, said.
McLaughlin said the CJB “would not be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that any of the officers committed a criminal offence or used excessive force in the administration or enforcement of the law.”
“A substantial likelihood of conviction exists where Crown counsel is satisfied there is a strong, solid case of substance to present to the court,” he explained. “When assessing the strength of the case the Crown must also consider the likelihood that viable defences will succeed.”
The charges that were being considered against the Surrey RCMP officers, whose names and rank have not been released, were assault causing bodily harm, and assault. The name of the man who was arrested has not been released, either.
The arrest happened shortly after 7 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2015, after a landlord called 911 about a tenant trashing his basement suite downstairs,
A CJB document describes a “chaotic” scene in which a large, apparently intoxicated man was “screaming and swearing, yelling at the officers that he wanted to be left alone.
“The room was a shambles with broken glass and furniture littering the floor,” it reads. “The suspect was noted to be bleeding and sweating and was unclothed.”
Blood was smeared on the walls and floor, a window had been broken and a crib was damaged.
According to the document the man, after being handcuffed, began pushing and shoving the Mounties as he was about to board an ambulance, and the officers took him down to the ground and attempted to tether his ankles to his waist.
During this, it continues, his nose and hip were injured “although the latter injury was not immediately obvious. Later it was determined that the suspect had suffered an injury to his right hip that would require surgery.”
McLaughlin noted that at some point the man’s right hip was fractured “though it is not possible to determine precisely how or when that happened.”
Paramedics took him by ambulance, under police escort, to Surrey Memorial Hospital for assessment under the Mental Health Act and according to hospital records neither the paramedics or police were aware of the the broken femoral head.
Hospital staff discovered the fracture after the man was admitted and told them his right leg was sore. A surgeon repaired the injury three days later.
Three months later, the Surrey RCMP spoke with the man on an unrelated matter and he told them about the Feb. 28, 2015 arrest and his broken bone. McLaughlin said the matter was on that same day referred to the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), which then forward its report to the Crown for consideration.