RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

The Independent Investigations Office of BC has found Salmon Arm RCMP are not responsible for the injuries of a man apprehended after a seven-hour standoff atop a Salmon Arm residence.

The investigation centred on events which occurred on Thursday, May 17, 2018. During the seven-hour standoff, officers began spraying the man with water so he would not go to asleep and fall off the roof. This spraying made the roof slippery and the man fell, landing on his groin astride a hand railing. The IIO found the use of the hose was not unjustified or unreasonable given the circumstances.

Read more: Salmon Arm RCMP attempt to coax man off roof

Read more: Update: Police raid on Sicamous house unsuccessful

The story began in Alberta where the unidentified man jumped out of a multi-storey building, fracturing his ankle. He then decided to drive to B.C. to turn himself in to police because of outstanding warrants against him. He arrived in Vernon with his broken foot and admitted to police he had not slept for days due to consuming illegal substances.

One of his tires was punctured in Enderby and, around this time, Emergency Health Services (EHS) and police were called due to his unusual behaviour such as making claims people were after him.

EHS took the man to the Salmon Arm hospital where he only stayed for an hour as he said he recognized staff and thought they were out to get him. As no police officers were with him at the hospital, he said he believed he was not under arrest and left around 6 p.m. in just shorts, a T-shirt and one sandal on his healthy foot.

Read more: Update: Police continue investigation at rural Shuswap property

Read more: VIDEO: B.C. police officer nearly struck by speeding car

He went to a residence on 8th Avenue near the hospital, tapped on the door and began screaming for help and for someone to call police. In response, the owner of the house locked the doors only to realize the stranger had used her shed to climb onto her roof.

She went out to tell the man to get down as he was ripping off roof tiles and throwing them down.

Two officers arrived wearing plainclothes and marked vests, with another uniformed officer in a marked police car, but the man did not believe they were real officers One of the officers told him he was under arrest for mischief and was being detained under the Mental Health Act.

As the man continued to throw roof tiles, an Emergency Response Team (ERT) arrived and attempted to coax the man off the roof. The Salmon Arm Fire Department was also called but the man did not believe either service was real.

The fire department placed two ladders to help the man get down, but he remained on the roof. He demanded food and water, requests that were met with a sandwich and drink placed in the gutter.

The man’s family was also contacted but they too were unsuccessful in convincing him to come down. The man’s family and the fire department left the scene at approximately 10 p.m., leaving the two ladders behind.

Read more: Update: Police allege vehicle in Highway 1 collision contained stolen goods

Read more: UPDATE: Police search related to robbery of illegal cannabis shop

Twenty minutes later a crisis negotiator was contacted. The negotiator suggested that a garden hose could be used to make the man wet and uncomfortable in an effort to get him down.

The man was seen falling asleep near the chimney and officers stated they feared for his safety, leading to the decision to start spraying him with the garden hose. An officer climbed a ladder to reach the man with the spray. Realizing this, the man threw a ladder he had pulled up onto the roof toward the officers, nearly knocking off the officer.

Over the course of the standoff the man also ripped off a satellite dish and threw it at the officers. While moving around the roof, the man slipped and fell to the ground, breaking the railing he landed on.

Read more: Update: Police investigation not related to missing persons

Read more: Police consider foul play in disappearance of B.C. men near Spences Bridge

The investigation found the use of the hose was a reasonable alternative to forcing the man down, although the tactic was not intended to result in him slipping and falling.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Quesnel’s Billy Barker Days Festival will happen but may be delayed and look different

‘It will be something different than it has been in other years,’ say organizers

COVID-19: Quesnel RCMP adjusts workers’ hours at the detachment

Police are also encouraging online reporting

B.C. Wildfire Service will expand its operations at Quesnel Airport

A new lease agreement with the City of Quesnel will allow BCWS to house additional crews at airport

COVID-19: Signs of the times

Hearts for frontline workers and social distancing reminders around Quesnel

COVID-19: Quesnel considers its most vulnerable

City in contact with the shelter and B.C. Housing to ensure well-being of homeless during pandemic

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Most Read