VPD chief apologizes for mistaken assault
Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu has personally apologized for a case of mistaken identity that saw an innocent man badly injured by police.
Yao Wei Wu, 44, was roughed up by two plain-clothed officers attending a domestic call after they went to the wrong residence in an East Vancouver home early Thursday morning.
On Thursday, a department spokesperson said the man who answered the door at the home didn't understand English very well and officers used force after he resisted officers by attempting to shut the door.
But in an interview with CTV News, Wu said the officers yanked him outside and assaulted him just after opening the door. It was only after the beating they asked what his name was, he said.
The incident left Wu badly bruised and his eye completely swollen shut.
On Friday, Chu admitted officers arrested Wu in error and the initial information about him resisting arrest was not correct.
"I want to make it perfectly clear we do not stand by this statement. This was information that was premature and released as fact when in reality the current investigation can determine what happened."
Chu said the officers involved were initially told the crime was taking place in an East Vancouver address and it was only later the caller clarified she lived in the basement - with the entrance in the backyard.
"Our officers arrived at the right address but at the wrong door," he said.
Chu said he visited Wu last night to apologize personally.
"Regardless of the fact we were rushing to the scene for the right reasons an innocent man was arrested and injured in the process. We are very sorry for that."
A man was arrested in the basement in connection to the domestic assault. Charges are expected.
Chu said the department will now examine the chain of events leading up to the incident, including whether the officers properly identified themselves and what happened during the dispatch.
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will oversee the investigation.