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RCMP officer cleared after man injured during arrest

By Brad Perry Jan 12, 2024 | 6:51 AM

An RCMP officer will not face charges after an arrest in St. Stephen left a man with injuries.

The Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) recently announced the findings of its investigation.

Interim director Erin Nauss said there are “no reasonable grounds” to believe the officer committed a crime.

On Sept. 20, St. Stephen RCMP received a call about a possible break-and-enter in progress.

During the search for suspects, an officer encountered a man who had several arrest warrants.

The man was also arrestable for allegedly pointing a handgun at a woman known to him the week prior.

According to the report, the man ran into the woods when police made verbal contact with him.

A police service dog and handler were brought in and tracked the suspect through a wooded area.

“When the [officer] first came upon the [suspect] he saw him laying on his back, both hands inside the “kangaroo” pouch of his sweater, with his hood pulled up and down over his face,” said the report.

“The [officer] noted that the [suspect] had his left leg pulled back into him as if to block the view of his hands and waist area.

“The [officer] feared that the [suspect] could have a firearm in his hands and was also aware that his team had passed by this same area multiple times, and that the [suspect] did not come out or surrender.”

RELATED: SiRT asked to investigate RCMP arrest in St. Stephen

SiRT said the officer deployed the police service dog to bite the man, who complied with his instructions to show his hands and roll onto his stomach.

The man received 10 stitches to his lower leg for what medical reports describe as “a gross puncture wound, showing muscle and tendons.”

When speaking with investigators, the suspect said he felt the dog was excessive, but SiRT ruled that was not the case.

“Due to the [suspect’s] history and recent offence involving a firearm, and the location and conditions of the search area, the [officer] deemed the risk assessment to be high,” said the report.

“Instructing the [police dog] to bite the [suspect] to permit the arrest was reasonable in the circumstances and was not excessive due to the nature of the inaction of the [suspect], and the threat to the [officers] and others.

“Once the [suspect] showed his hands, he was handcuffed, and the [police dog] was immediately instructed to release him.”

You can view the full report here.