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Mountie who set girlfriend's hair on fire ordered to resign

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A Manitoba RCMP officer who set fire to his girlfriend's hair, shot her with a BB gun, and verbally abused her by calling her fat, stupid, and ugly, has been ordered to resign.

According to a recently published Jan. 4 RCMP Conduct Board decision, Const. Jason Kitzul also drove home drunk, pushed his girlfriend off a chair and put her in a headlock, and punched her.

The RCMP Conduct Board said Const. Kitzul showed a "stunning lack of appreciation" for his actions, downplayed what took place, and displayed a "dismissive and cavalier attitude."

He denied all the allegations against him and failed to show any remorse.

The Conduct Board described him as "evasive, argumentative" and "arrogant."

The decision says Const. Kitzul was an RCMP officer in Roblin, a small town about 400 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. He was a Mountie for 12 years and met his now former girlfriend in 2016.

Const. Kitzul testified that from the onset their relationship had consensual "roughhousing" behaviour.

"They often wrestled with each other...  Constable Kitzul and (the girlfriend) frequently punched, slapped or pinched each other playfully," the decision reads. "These behaviours took place in private, during gatherings of family and friends and, on occasion, public venues."

The girlfriend described their behaviour as like "grade 7 or 8s." 

READ MORE: Drunk B.C. RCMP officer who passed out in drive-thru keeps job

About one year into the relationship it started to deteriorate.

Const. Kitzul's behaviour towards his girlfriend became demeaning, he told her she couldn't think for herself and that she was fat and stupid.

On one occasion he pushed her over on a lawn chair and put her in a headlock. On another occasion, he pinned her arm behind her back and pinched her between the legs until she said the words, "Jason is King." He hit her with a ping pong paddle and a small plastic hockey stick which were enough to cause her pain.

He shot her with a BB gun while they were playing darts in the basement.

Const. Kitzul said this was a game, but the Conduct Board disagreed.

"This was not a game to her," it ruled.

On another occasion Const. Kitzul set fire to his girlfriend's hair while lighting a cigarette.

The Mountie testified it was an accident but the Conduct Board said he'd demonstrated a "wanton or reckless disregard" for her safety.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this to have happened," the decision reads.

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The decision says the girlfriend's family became concerned about her and she changed from being a "bubbly" person to being "argumentative, irritable, angry, withdrawn and bitter." She also started drinking heavily.

Following a family intervention the girlfriend went to the police and Const. Kitzul was charged with one count of drunk driving, assault with a weapon, for shooting her with a BB gun, and one charge of assault for punching her during an ice fishing trip.

In June 2019 Const. Kitzul was suspended with pay.

However, all three charges were stayed by Crown prosecutors.

"The Crown Attorney provided no clear explanation for that decision in the public courtroom," the Conduct Board said.

READ MORE: BC RCMP officer faces breach of trust charge

The decision shows that Const. Kitzul has been in trouble before with the RCMP.

In 2012 following an argument with his ex-wife, she fell on the ice and he picked her up by grabbing the collar of her jacket. The event happened in front of their two children.

The RCMP reprimanded him and he had to forfeit a day's holiday.

Another incident followed in 2016 when he failed to open a file, "let alone properly investigate the matter" in a domestic violence case. He was fined two days' pay and had to take an online course relative to domestic violence. Two charges were laid in the case when it was finally investigated.

"Constable Kitzul’s apparent failure to learn from these two prior conduct matters does not bode well for Constable Kitzul’s rehabilitation prospects as does (his) failure to demonstrate any remorse," the Conduct Board ruled.

Const. Kitzul argued he should be allowed the opportunity for a medical discharge, as he'd had numerous operations on his shoulder. This move would likely see him collect an RCMP pension.

However, the Conduct Board said he'd had three-and-a-half years while suspended with pay to deal with the matter and failed to do so.

"Unfortunately for Constable Kitzul, (it's) 'too little too late,'" the Board ruled.

READ MORE: 'Discrimination against white females:' RCMP officer fined after verbally abusing border officer

Ultimately, the RCMP Conduct Board said the intimate partner violence and the incident of impaired driving discredited the RCMP and ordered him to resign within two weeks or he'd be fired.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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