No charges will be considered against a Nanaimo RCMP officer after a suspect was injured in an arrest outside the Quarterway Pub last year.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. released its decision today on the incident, which happened Aug. 3, 2017.
According to the decision, a person being arrested for public intoxication suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken nose and two broken orbitals.
“The injuries that occurred were unintended,” the decision notes. “[The suspect’s] intoxication likely played a role in him going down awkwardly. The [armbar] technique used by [the officer] is a common method to gain control of an unruly person and rarely results in injuries of this significance.”
At about 4:30 p.m. that day, RCMP received a complaint from RDN Transit about “an unruly, intoxicated passenger who was on one of their city buses and had allegedly assaulted other passengers.” According to a B.C. RCMP press release the next day, the suspect had been making threats and inappropriately touched female passengers. The IIO decision notes that a blood sample taken an hour and a half after the incident “showed an extremely high blood-alcohol concentration many times greater than the legal limit to drive.”
The police officer stated to investigators, according to the IIO decision, that “an armbar takedown with a handcuff on” was used to try to arrest an unco-operative suspect, and B.C. Ambulance Service was called immediately when the suspect was found to be unresponsive.
“It is important to note both prior to and after AP was taken to the ground, [the officer] was noted by civilian witnesses to be acting entirely appropriately … Indeed, he demonstrated concern and compassion for [the suspect] after he was injured.”
The decision found that there were clear grounds to arrest and detain the suspect, and that the officer’s actions were “reasonable, appropriate and necessary.”