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Monday, October 25, 2010

Two B.C. cops charged over Taser jolt on 73-year-old

October 25, 2010
Ian Bailey, Globe and Mail

A member of the RCMP and a member of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service have been charged with assault in the tasering of a 73-year-old man while in hospital.

The charges relate to an incident on April 22, 2010 in which RCMP, responding to a report of a man with a knife causing a disturbance, took the 73-year-old Surrey resident to hospital for treatment and assessment after apprehending him under the Mental Health Act

Statements released Monday by the RCMP and transit police say the man, while in hospital, was subjected to a single application of force from a Taser wielded by the RCMP officer in the push-stun mode.

The transit officer, who happened to be at the hospital at the time, became involved in the situation, say the statements.

The 73-year-old man suffered a facial laceration requiring sutures.

Following an investigation, Constable Mitchell Spears, a member of the RCMP with two years experience, has been charged with one count of assault and one count of assault with a weapon.

Constable Ken Jensen of the transit police has been charged with one count of assault.

Both officers have been suspended with pay.

“Allegations of this nature are troubling for all of us who are entrusted with the public’s confidence. We must now rely on the full process as set out in law to deal with these allegations,” George Beattie, acting chief for the transit police, said in a statement.

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