Vancouver police apologize for arresting wrong man
Published Friday, January 22, 2010 1:02AM PST
Vancouver police publicly apologized Thursday to a 44-year-old man who was roughed up and arrested in a case of mistaken identity.
According to police, a woman called authorities early Thursday to report that her drunken husband was hitting her and that she was concerned about herself and her baby.
Two plain-clothed officers responded to a East Vancouver home, but didn't realize there were two residences in the house.
The officers went to the wrong door.
What happened next is in dispute.
According to police, the man who answered the door didn't understand English very well and resisted by striking out at the officers and trying to close the door.
"The officers persisted in the belief that there may be a woman and child inside who could be in danger," said Const. Jana McGuinness in a press release. "The man was arrested and received minor injuries to his face in the process."
But in an interview with CTV News Thursday night in Chinese, Yao Wei Wu recalled a different version of events.
He said he went downstairs and asked who it was.
He said the men identified themselves as police. Wu said as soon as he opened the door, the officers yanked him outside and beat him.
It was only then that they asked him what his name was, he said.
Wu's left eye was still swollen shut Thursday night and there were still spots of blood on the ground outside his front door.
McGuinness acknowledged in a subsequent statement that the man had a swollen eye.
She also said that a senior officer, a Cantonese-speaking sergeant and an inspector from the Professional Standards Section visited the family Thursday night, and promised the family a full investigation.
Sitting on Wu's dining room table Thursday night were numerous business cards, including one from Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu.
"The VPD regrets any inconvenience or trauma this may have caused the family," McGuinness said.
McGuinness added that police did eventually respond to the home where the complaint originated and arrested a man for assault.