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

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

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read