A suspect in a vehicle theft hurt himself while fleeing police, investigators have decided.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. released the findings today of an investigation into an arrest made south of Nanaimo on Feb. 22.
A man arrested for allegedly stealing a pickup truck was taken to hospital after his arrest along the side of the Trans-Canada Highway. According to the IIO report, “it was found he had sustained puncture wounds to his back, some facial lacerations and a fracture to the right ankle.”
The IIO determined that the ankle fracture was likely caused while running and jumping while “trying to escape from police officers and not from any contact during arrest.”
The suspect was interviewed by the IIO five days after the arrest and did not make any allegations of police causing him any injury. According to the report, the suspect confirmed to investigators that he “dove into the ditch” while fleeing police.
The lacerations sustained from the police service dog required stitches, but there was no nerve damage and “these injuries do not meet the threshold of serious harm,” the report notes.
Oceanside RCMP first attempted to stop the driver of the pickup truck, which had been reported stolen, but the driver did not pull over. Oceanside RCMP did not pursue, but alerted Nanaimo RCMP, which spotted the vehicle south of Nanaimo and observed it go off the side of the highway while attempting an illegal U-turn. According to the IIO report, the driver ran away from the road into a wooded area with police “following his tracks in the snow.”
The IIO’s conclusion was that police acted “fully in accordance with their duties” and the investigation is closed.