North Okanagan Mountie cleared of wrongdoing in dog ‘chewing’ complaint


There’s little merit in the allegation that Enderby, B.C., police wrongly chased down an innocent man in November 2021, then let one of their dogs have a lengthy chew on his arm, according to a report from the province’s police watchdog.

Ronald J. MacDonald, chief civilian director of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO), wrote in a report published on Friday found that police made a by-the-books arrest, given what they were dealing with on Nov. 11, 2021.

“There is a bald allegation from (the suspect) that three officers essentially attacked him while he was innocently going about his business, let a police dog chew on his arm for as long as 45 minutes and then severely beat him,” MacDonald said.

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“The difficulty with that allegation, though, is that it is contradicted by all other available evidence.”

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Of note, MacDonald said, it doesn’t even align with the recollection of events from the man’s friend.

According to the report, a van with a stolen plate was found by police outside a rural property near Enderby.

Spotting the van, which was earlier seen driving at 160 km/an hour, prompted an on-duty Mountie to call for backup and a police dog.

MacDonald said the resident at the property told police the suspect was there, but he was seen at the back of the house.

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The officer told the suspect to stop and that he was under arrest, and when the suspect kept going, the officer released his service dog.

The man suffered a number of injuries, including a broken arm.

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MacDonald said there was a “solid body of evidence establishing that the responding officers did not simply set a dog on the man for no other reason than he was going for coffee.”

“They had grounds to arrest (the suspect) who matched the description of the suspect they were seeking for theft, possession of stolen property and dangerous driving,” MacDonald wrote.

The evidence as a whole, on the other hand, shows that the man had been non-compliant when police tried to stop him and the dog’s deployment was in line with B.C. policing standards.

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MacDonald said that the crime the man had been a suspect of was not just a property crime — it was one that created a greater risk for the public.

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“(He) had stolen a vehicle, was creating risk to the public driving dangerously, was clearly unwilling to stop for police when told to do so, and had a recent history of arrest for other offences,” MacDonald wrote.

“In addition, he was warned to stop by police and did not and it would have been obvious that they had a dog present.”

The greater likelihood, he said, is that the man would have been combative with police.

Ultimately, MacDonald ruled the police did not use unreasonable force.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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