No charges for West Kelowna cop after suspect suffers facial fractures during arrest | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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No charges for West Kelowna cop after suspect suffers facial fractures during arrest


A West Kelowna police officer won't be charged after a suspect ended up with several broken bones during an arrest.

The Mountie was arresting a hit and run suspect, but as they slipped on snow and ice, the suspect landed on his face, breaking both eye sockets and his nose, according to a report by the Independent Investigations Office of BC.

The province's police watchdog found the suspect's injuries were "unfortunate," but the use of force was not unreasonable.

West Kelowna RCMP were called to a hit and run near the intersection of Elliot and Gossett roads on Feb. 28, around 8:10 p.m.

When the officer involved got there witnesses pointed to a suspect who was walking away through an alley, according to the report. The officer tried to stop the suspect, then chased after him when the suspect kept going.

READ MORE: Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash with parked cop car in Kamloops

The officer took the suspect to the ground, which was at least partly blamed on the slippery ground. One witness said it appeared as if the officer lost his footing as he tried to get a hold of the suspect.

The suspect was intoxicated and acting aggressively to both police and a paramedic who arrived later, according to the report.

The suspect denied an offer to go to the hospital in an ambulance, despite his broken orbital bones and nose, later getting transported to the hospital in a police cruiser instead, according to the report.

The suspect told investigators the officer "boot fucked" him, but declined to explain to investigators what he meant by that.

Accounts from witnesses and the officer involved, however, say it was slippery ice and the suspect's attempts to break loose of the officer's grip that led to his impact with the ground, according to the report.

Chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald found there were no grounds to suspect the officer is criminally responsible, and opted not to refer the matter to Crown prosecution.

It's not clear what happened with the hit and run investigation.

The IIO is the Independent civilian oversight agency of the police in BC. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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