Two Kamloops Mounties charged with assault
Published Friday, July 9, 2010 4:43PM PDT
Two Mounties in Kamloops, B.C. -- including a constable who shot and killed a burglary suspect in 2004 -- have been charged with assault in unrelated incidents, including a late night off-duty scuffle.
Const. Ryan Sheremetta has been charged with one count of assault for allegedly punching another man during a street fight after bar closing time on March 7.
At a press conference Friday, RCMP Insp. Yves Lacasse said that the allegations against Sheremetta came from another member of the force.
"A police officer came forward and provided us with this information. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's the right thing to do," Lacasse said.
Sheremetta has been transferred to administrative duties while an internal police investigation is underway.
The constable has seven years experience on the force, and was previously stationed in Vanderhoof, where he became the subject of an internal deadly force investigation.
In 2004, Sheremetta shot burglary suspect Kevin St. Arnaud three times as he fled from a drug store break-in. St. Arnaud was killed in the shooting.
The RCMP investigation into the shooting found that Sheremetta fired his gun in self- defence, and he did not face criminal charges in the death.
A report last year from the RCMP public complaints commissioner confirmed that finding, but also found that there were serious flaws in the internal investigation and how evidence was handled at the scene.
At a coroners' inquest, Sheremetta had claimed that he was on his back when he shot St. Arnaud, but that evidence was contradicted by another officer on the scene.
David Eby, director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, told CTV News that it is troubling to see Sheremetta's name again connected with allegations of violence.
"We're very concerned that he's again involved with the law," Eby said.
"One has to ask the question: If all these allegations are true, why is he still an RCMP officer? What do you have to do to get fired from the RCMP?"
Second officer charged
Another Kamloops Mountie, Const. Kevin Roy, now faces two charges of assault for separate on-duty incidents in January.
Lacasse said that Roy's charges relate to separate arrests of a man and a woman for public drunkenness.
The constable has suspended from duty with pay. Both Sheremetta and Roy will make their first appearances in Kamloops provincial court on July 29.
Lacasse said that the mood in the Kamloops detachment has not been good since the allegations against both officers surfaced.
"Many people are taking it very hard," Lacasse said.
"We're proud to wear the uniform that we wear, despite all the criticism that we have been getting in recent years. Some of the criticism that we have received, we deserve, and we feel that some of the criticism we have received we don't deserve…. But when you keep on getting bashed on a daily basis, it is tough."
Watch CTV News at Six for a report from Kent Molgat