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Prince Rupert police use taser to subdue uncooperative suspect

Decision was made when other pain compliance methods failed, says RCMP
Police deploy a taser on a man allegedly resisting arrest after being approached by police officers on May 14. (Photo: Video still/Facebook)

A man has been charged with resisting arrest following an incident in which Prince Rupert police used a conducted energy weapon (CEW), commonly known as a taser, to subdue him.

RCMP issued a media statement just after 9 p.m. May 14 regarding the incident, which occurred in the 300 block of Second Ave earlier that evening. The media release states the man was resisting arrest and taken to the police station, where he was offered medical assistance.

However, paramedics did not feel safe in assessing him due to his aggressive behaviour.

Police state an officer arrived on the scene of the 7:15 p.m. incident and requested a second officer for backup.

“… he recognized the man from previous interactions and he knew him to have a history of violence,” the statement reads. “The officers determined the man was intoxicated in public and unable to care for himself. He did not provide a safe place he could stay for the night and therefore, he was placed under arrest.

“When the officers went to secure the man in handcuffs for their safety and for the purpose of transporting him to the detachment, the man refused to comply with their lawful orders. Officers updated their partners on shift that the man was resisting and all available officers responded immediately.”

A video is circling on social media taken by a passerby that shows two officers struggling with the man who is on the ground and three more officers approaching. A male voice can be heard yelling, “Taser, taser.”

The video does not show what led up to the arrest.

“The man continued to not follow directions from officers despite pain compliance methods being used,” the RCMP states. “The decision was made to deploy a conducted energy weapon (CEW), more commonly known as a taser, in the probe mode, which induces pain. The man was given one cycle of the probe mode and immediately upon receiving it he complied and officers were able to secure him safely.”

The man was held in custody overnight until he was sober and able to care for himself. He was released this morning (May 15) with a charge of obstruction (resisting arrest), Const. Brody Hemrich, media relations officer for the detachment, said.

“The Prince Rupert RCMP is aware of the video circulating online regarding this particular incident,” Hemrich added. “We are asking anyone with video footage or who witnessed the incident to provide a statement.”

If you have any information, please call the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136. In case of an emergency, always call 9-1-1.

K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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