Man dies after being Tasered by RCMP in Shuswap region
VANCOUVER – A 38-year-old man who was Tasered by Mounties in B.C.'s Shuswap region this week has died in hospital, according to the province's police watchdog.
RCMP officers arrested the man, whose name hasn't been released, early Monday morning in Malakwa, a small settlement located just north of Sicamous.
Officers allege he resisted arrest before they used a Taser on him. They said he went into medical distress after they'd put him in handcuffs.
On Wednesday, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. revealed the man has since died in hospital. The cause hasn't been released, and it's unclear whether the man had any underlying medical issues.
"The IIO can now confirm the male died on Tuesday evening," the IIO said in a statement. "As a result of the death, the BC Coroners Service has been informed and (is) also investigating."
The IIO is notified about every police-involved incident that results in death or serious injury, whether or not there's an allegation of wrongdoing by officers. The watchdog is tasked with determining whether police actions or inaction contributed to the fatal or non-fatal injuries.
The RCMP is also continuing to investigate the events that led up to the man being Tasered at around 3:20 a.m. Monday.
Authorities said the incident began when Kelowna RCMP received a report of an "erratic driver" on Highway 97. Officers said they made at least two attempts to pull over a suspect vehicle before finally managing to stop the driver in Malakwa, more than an hour's drive north of the site of the initial call.
The RCMP said at one point, the suspect driver "narrowly (missed) a police officer" while trying to flee. Authorities also said two police vehicles were damaged, though they haven't provided any further information about the extent or cause of the damage.