Three men have been charged after a routine traffic stop in downtown Vancouver erupted into violence and left a police officer in hospital.
The incident started when a pair of plainclothes patrol officers tried to pull over a Dodge Durango on Robson Street between Granville and Seymour shortly before 10 p.m.
The three occupants were "confrontational and verbally abusive," according to police, and when one of the officers approached the vehicle and opened the passenger door, he was allegedly yanked inside and beaten.
"The front passenger pulled him into the vehicle and two men began to punch him repeatedly in his head and face," Sgt. Jason Robillard told reporters Wednesday. "As the other officer rushed to help, all three men exited the vehicle and continued to assault the officers."
YouTube video of the tense confrontation shows one man then try to bolt down Robson away from police, only to be struck by a pickup truck while running across the Seymour Street intersection.
He somehow managed to get up and continue running until officers caught up with him on Richards Street, according to police. Authorities said the suspect was assessed in hospital but somehow did not suffer any serious injuries.
The police officer who was allegedly beaten suffered "substantial injuries," however, and was treated in hospital before being sent home to recover.
“This is an example of the risk all police officers face as they work to protect the citizens they serve. This sort of incident affects the entire policing community. We wish our officer a speedy recovery and will ensure the officer and his family have the support they need,” Robillard said.
Prosecutors have since approved charges against three suspects.
West Vancouver residents Brendan John Robinson, 21, and Troy Michael Robinson, 22, are both charged with assault causing bodily harm against a police officer and willfully obstructing a police officer.
Brian Benjamin Allen, a 24-year-old from Victoria, is charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000 for allegedly snatching the injured police officer's cellphone.
Robillard said all three are "well-known to police."
Earlier on Wednesday, police said they were considering other counts relating to drugs and alcohol that officers allegedly seized from their vehicle.
The police investigation is ongoing despite the approval of charges, and authorities are hoping to speak to anyone with information on the case, and particularly those who have cellphone video of what happened.