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Man in critical condition after arrest in northern B.C., IIO seeks witnesses

Police are seen outside a 7-Eleven in Dawson Creek on Thursday, June 20. (CJDC-TV) Police are seen outside a 7-Eleven in Dawson Creek on Thursday, June 20. (CJDC-TV)
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B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating after a man was seriously injured while being arrested in Dawson Creek.

Local Mounties say they received a report of four people possessing firearms and bear spray near 8 Street and 104 Avenue around 8 a.m. Thursday. Police arrested three individuals without incident, but one man fled the scene.

Officers apprehended the man outside the 7-Eleven on 105 Avenue, where “it is reported that there was a struggle between police and the man while he was being arrested,” the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. said.

Police said the man was “combative” while being arrested and that four officers were injured and three of them received medical attention.

“Shortly after being taken into custody, the man went into medical distress and lost consciousness,” the B.C. RCMP said in a news release.

Paramedics “initiated life saving measures” at the scene, and the man was then taken to hospital, where he is now in critical condition, police said. Neither the RCMP nor the IIO provided details about how the man was hurt, or the nature of his injuries.

The IIO, which is tasked with investigating all police-related incidents that result in death or serious harm to a civilian, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing, says it will now confirm the details of what happened and will look into “whether any force used was necessary, proportionate, and reasonable under the circumstances.”

Investigators are asking anyone who witnessed the arrest to come forward, and gave a specific callout for two men they believe saw what happened—one wearing an orange shirt with reflective stripes and blue jeans, and another who was wearing dark clothing and using a wheelchair. The IIO can be reached at 1-855-446-8477.

Police are also seeking information about the initial weapons complaint, and are asking anyone with video to call the detachment at 250-784-3700.

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