Kelowna cop charged with 2 counts of assault
Published Thursday, March 24, 2011 6:14PM PDT
Kelowna RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler has been charged with two counts of assault for two separate incidents, including kicking a suspect in the face during an arrest.
Mantler was caught on video kicking 51-year-old Buddy Tavares as he knelt on the ground beside his truck during an arrest on Jan. 7.
The second charge relates to an altercation last August in Kelowna when Mantler was on duty, but no details have been provided.
"The complainant on that file has not spoken publicly or been publicly identified to this point, so Criminal Justice Branch is not releasing any information in relation to the person's identity," Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said.
Mantler is also accused of causing a broken tooth, black eye and multiple cuts to the face during the arrest of Jeremy Packer, also in August 2010. That case is still under review by Crown.
Charges of assault causing bodily harm were laid against Mantler on Thursday.
Mantler, a three-year member of the RCMP, has been suspended from the job with pay. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 26.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter Hourihan calls the allegations disappointing.
"This type of behaviour if substantiated in court or in our internal court of conduct is extremely concerning for me," Hourihan told reporters at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
"It's behaviour that falls well short of any expectations that I or any of the officers or vast majority of officers have in this regard."
During the Tavares arrest, Mantler can be seen on video winding up for the kick. The force of the blow knocks Tavares to the ground, and when he is rolled over, there appears to be a pool of blood beneath his face.
Mounties had pulled over Tavares in response to a 911 call regarding a domestic violence incident and arrested him after finding a shotgun in his vehicle.
Packer, an employee at a boat company, was hurt when he was mistakenly arrested by Mantler and another officer while repossessing a vessel in Kelowna on Aug. 30.
Packer said police pulled him out of the car while it was still in gear, which caused it to roll ahead and hit another vehicle.
He said he was punched repeatedly even though he was cooperating with the officers. He was taken into custody for several hours but never charged with a crime.
With files from The Canadian Press