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100 Mile House RCMP officer cleared of criminal wrongdoing

Dangerous driving suspect had complained of bruising and swelling following arrest
Photograph By ISTOCK

The B.C. Prosecution Service says it won't pursue charges against an RCMP officer for an arrest near 100 Mile House that left a dangerous driving suspect complaining of injuries.

The decision, issued Wednesday, stems from an Oct. 25, 2020 incident in which RCMP had responded to a report that a pickup truck heading north on Highway 97 passed four vehicles on a blind corner and narrowly missed an oncoming vehicle in the process.

The pickup was located by 100 Mile House RCMP but the driver refused to pull over when police emergency lights and siren were activated. A series of spike belts were set up and the pickup truck was eventually brought to a standstill.

The driver ran down a steep highway embankment and then dropped to his knees when an RCMP officer caught up to him. When the officer pushed the driver to the ground and attempted to apply handcuffs, the suspect tucked both his hands under his body and out of sight.

A second officer arrived on the scene and "stamped once forcefully" on the subject's back and hip area, then briefly stepped or pushed him in the head area with a foot and then struck him with a closed fist four times in the left upper body and back area.

At that point, the other officer had gained control of one of the subject's arms and with help from the second officer, applied handcuffs and walked the suspect back up the embankment.

The subject refused medical assistance both at the scene and at the police detachment, according to a clear statement from BCPS. He later complained of injuries, including bruising and swelling from the arrest, but the injuries are not apparent in photos taken at the time and not mentioned in a medical report following an assessment at Cariboo Memorial Hospital the day after his arrest.

A subsequent investigation by the Independent Investigations Office had led the agency to believe there were reasonable grounds that the second officer may have committed an assault. But the BCPS concluded it would not be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the officer committed a criminal offence.