Dog on the Move

Probe clears Victoria police officer after theft suspect bitten by police canine


Unbiased Investigations Workplace of B.C. stated deployment of police service canine below the circumstances of the arrest on Jan. 29 was “inside the affordable vary of drive choices out there.”

A Victoria Police Division canine handler has been cleared of wrongdoing after a theft ­suspect was bitten by a police canine and required 32 sutures.

The Unbiased ­Investigations Workplace of B.C., the civilian company that investigates all police incidents involving severe damage or demise, stated deployment of a police service canine below the circumstances of the arrest was “inside the ­affordable vary of drive choices out there.”

The IIO stated the incident unfolded when two VicPD officers responded to a theft name at a comfort retailer at 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 29 at Yates and Quadra streets. The decision described a male suspect armed with a steel baton.

The officers, who weren’t topics of the IIO investigation, positioned the suspect a block away nonetheless carrying the baton.

The suspect later admitted to the IIO that he was utilizing intoxicants that day and “feeling excessive.”

A battle ensued because the officers tried to make an arrest and a 3rd officer arrived and launched a police canine, which bit the person on the pinnacle and higher leg. The suspect stated he blacked out and awoke in an ambulance.

The suspect informed the IIO he had dropped the baton and was handcuffed “once they let the canines on me.”

The IIO investigation, ­nevertheless, found via officers and witness testimony in addition to witness video, that the police canine “was neither deployed for an prolonged interval nor after [the suspect] was handcuffed.”

The IIO stated one officer kicked the baton out of the suspect’s hand after he refused to adjust to an order to drop it.

The 2 officers had been ­struggling to handcuff the ­suspect, and unable to successfully use a taser, as he resisted them. There was a transfer by the suspect to strive get one thing out of his pocket.

He was later discovered to have a utility knife.

“It was not unreasonable for the [canine officer] to conclude that [the suspect] who was now uncontrolled and reaching right into a pocket, probably for an additional weapon, posed an actual threat of ­bodily hurt to an officer,” the IIO report stated.

“In these circumstances, deployment of the [police service dog] to chew, whereas on the higher finish of the vary, was inside the affordable vary of drive choices out there.”

The person was handled on the scene and brought to hospital the place he obtained 32 sutures for cuts and lacerations from canine bites.

The IIO famous in its report that over the previous 4 years the company has seen police-dog chew investigations improve from 10 to 27.

“Utilizing [a police dog] to apprehend a suspect may cause severe accidents, so any improve in such circumstances is regarding,” the report stated.

“On this case, although, whereas it may need been potential for [the officers] to have accomplished an arrest with out the intervention of the police service canine, it can’t be stated that it was unreasonable for them to consider that help from the topic officer and the canine was obligatory.”

IIO chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald stated there have been no affordable grounds to consider that the officer ­dedicated an offence and the matter is not going to be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of costs.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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