Fraser Valley man ‘in extremely critical condition’
By DIRK MEISSNER The Canadian Press
Wed. Nov 21 - 6:34 AM
VICTORIA — A Fraser Valley man who RCMP sprayed, zapped and whacked in a violent confrontation is in extremely critical condition in hospital, a senior Mountie said Tuesday.
Police used pepper spray, a Taser stun gun and their batons on the Chilliwack, B.C., resident who reportedly was acting erratically in a Chilliwack rental store on Monday.
Assistant RCMP Commissioner Peter German said the 36-year-old man was extremely agitated, aggressive and combative with the two RCMP officers who responded.
They called for backup when neither the pepper spray nor Taser nor batons succeeded in subduing him, they said.
Several Mounties responded — German couldn’t say how many — and the man was taken into custody. Conscious and still vocal, he was taken to hospital.
"The male involved in this incident is still in Chilliwack General Hospital and his condition has changed through the evening and overnight hours," said German in a statement at Victoria RCMP headquarters. "He is currently in extremely critical condition in the intensive care unit.
"He did sustain lacerations to the head area in his struggle with police, however, the exact reason for his condition is not known at this time."
German said the RCMP called the news conference in order to get information about the arrest to the public as quickly as possible, especially since a Taser was involved.
The Mounties are currently in the middle of a major uproar over use of a Taser on a newly arrived Polish immigrant who died minutes later at Vancouver International Airport last month.
Besides police, coroner and border services investigations, the B.C. government has launched an inquiry into the airport incident and into rules governing use of Tasers by police in the province.
German said because the police use of force could be a factor in the man’s injuries, the RCMP’s E Division, which covers British Columbia, has launched an independent review of the Chilliwack incident.
Gary Bass, the deputy commissioner of E Division, said Tuesday that RCMP would consider a moratorium on Taser use if someone came up with scientific evidence to say they weren’t safe.
RCMP major crime and homicide investigators, the police department in nearby Abbotsford, Vancouver Island RCMP major crime officers and two members of the Victoria Police Department will participate in the review, he said.
The RCMP has contacted the man’s family, who requested his name not be made public, German said.