November 29, 2012 - 2:11 PM
A third RCMP officer in the last two days testified that Buddy Tavares' movements before he was kicked by Const. Geoff Mantler were cause for concern.
While viewing enhanced still photos from the videotape of the incident, Const. Brent Wilson told a B.C. Provincial Court judge Thursday that Tavares' slow body movements, inconsistent compliance to routine commands and failure to keep his hands visible all would constitute threats to an arresting officer. Of special concern was Tavares' hand movements from shoulder level to his waistband as he was commanded to keep his hands in the air.
"He could be reaching for a weapon or appearing to attack," Wilson said.
Wilson's testimony largely reflected that from two previous RCMP officers, Const. Robyn Boffy and Const. Kyle Boffy. All testified that the call was among the most serious they could get: An ex-employee had arrived at his former workplace, Harvest Golf Club, and had fired shotgun blasts. Wilson said he also heard a report that golf club employees had hidden in the pro shop and that the caller who had reported the incident to police said it was thought that the shooter had left the scene.
Wilson said he, along with Kyle Boffy and Const. Owen Smith were headed to the golf club in separate cars at the time.
"I thought he might have still been engaged in shooting at a location of his former employment and that he was there to harm people," Wilson said.
Mantler is charged with assault causing bodily harm during his arrest of Tavares Jan. 7, 2011.
Wilson, one of the officers who'd arrived on the arrest site, testified that tensions were high from the time dispatch first gave the report of shots fired. It also was understood that the shooter may have been a disgruntled former employee returning to exact revenge.
"It's the highest priority call we receive," Wilson said.
As Wilson, Boffy and Smith approached KLO road at Benvoulin Road, they received a report that Mantler thought he'd seen the vehicle, a silver pickup with a red canopy, and was about to pull him over at the intersection of KLO Road and Pandosy Street. That made Wilson, Boffy and Smith change direction, turning right on KLO to the Mission area instead of left to the golf club.
Once on the arrest scene, Wilson said he saw Tavares facedown on the pavement, his hands cuffed. He was worried that bystanders had gathered on the scene and that the street had moderately heavy traffic. Wilson said he helped Const. Robyn Boffy escort Tavares to Wilson's police car. Wilson then searched Tavares, finding a wallet and three spent shotgun shells.
Wilson said that he drove Tavares to the Kelowna RCMP detachment. He testified that Tavares had been bleeding from the nose, sustained facial scrapes and his right eye was swollen. Emergency Health Services personnel recommended Tavares be taken to Kelowna General Hospital, which Wilson did. He said Tavares asked why he'd been arrested, but that he'd seemed otherwise coherent and understood everything Wilson told him.
The trail resumes Thursday afternoon. InfoTel news will update.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012