PRINCE GEORGE, BC: On July 18, 2017 at 10:32 PM, Prince George RCMP received a report that a man was “casing vehicles” in a parking lot in the 1000 block of Central Street West in Prince George. A police officer responded to the complaint and located the suspect who attempted to flee on a bicycle.
A struggle allegedly ensued between the police officer and the man. Several other RCMP officers attended the scene after the lone police officer requested urgent assistance by putting in a distress call.
Attending members assisted in the apprehension of the man. Oleoresin Capsicum spray (commonly referred to OC spray or pepper spray) was used during the course of police’s interaction with the man. The man was then placed into a police car.
Police requested immediate medical assistance for the man when he appeared to have trouble breathing. Once an ambulance arrived the man was taken out of a police car and collapsed. The 35 year-old man was pronounced deceased in hospital shortly after midnight.
As per protocols, IIO BC was notified and they will now investigate whether there is a connection between the man’s death and the actions of police.
As the matter is now under investigation by the IIO BC, no further information will be released by police at this time.
Below is information released by the IIOBC on this incident…
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has deployed to Prince George to investigate an in-custody death.
According to police, at 10:32 p.m. on Tuesday July 18, 2017, RCMP officers were responding to a call of a male “casing vehicles” in the 1000 block of Central Street West in Prince George. Officers located the male and attempted to take him into custody.
IIO investigators are on scene and will be conducting tasks including obtaining physical evidence, designating and interviewing officers and reviewing available video footage.
The initial focus of the IIO investigation will be to determine if there is a connection between the death of the male and the actions or inactions of police. If there is no connection then the IIO will release jurisdiction, if there is a connection the IIO will continue investigating.
Any potential witnesses of this incident are asked to call the IIO at 1-855-446-8477.
The IIO will not be providing any information about the deceased as this is the responsibility of BC Coroners Service at their discretion.
No further information or updates will be provided at this time.