Sgt. Kelly Olafson described finding Lafond, 21, motionless underneath a stolen truck. Olafson said he stomped on the suspect’s hand and pulled him out.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2016, Olafson was one of several officers tracking a police pursuit of a stolen Ford F-150 with firearms inside.
Lafond was the passenger in the vehicle, which stopped after colliding with a chain link fence along 22nd Street West near Bethlehem Collegiate.
He was adamant he didn’t use force beyond a stomp, denying a theory put forward by some Saskatoon police investigators that he kicked Lafond.
“I can tell you that’s not true,” Olafson said, elaborating that Lafond’s body was covered by the truck and not able to be kicked.
The tactical support unit member said he struggled to get Lafond in handcuffs because the 21-year-old was wearing a long-sleeve shirt and a jacket. The fabric got caught in the cuffs, the inquest heard.
Someone yelled “stop resisting” and Olafson managed to cuff Lafond.
The sergeant said he didn’t recall another officer delivering three or four knee strikes to Lafond’s head, which during the inquest, another member admitted to doing.
Olafson described hearing a “guttural snoring” sound and seeing blood on Lafond’s face, which prompted officers to turn him on his side and call for an ambulance.
After she arrived on scene, Const. Stephanie Kepler noted Lafond had a swollen left eye with red and blue bruising.
In the recovery position on his side, Lafond breathed normally, but faintly with a weakening pulse, Kepler said.
She, along with a third police officer who testified Wednesday, stated Lafond didn’t move during their interaction with him.
The inquest also heard from neuropathologist Dr. Christopher Robinson, who reiterated that pathologists couldn’t determine whether police force or the truck crash caused Lafond’s death.
“It’s all consistent with trauma to the brain,” he said.
Testimony at the inquest is scheduled to conclude Thursday and jurors will likely receive instructions on Friday.
The five-woman one-man jury will be tasked with determining the cause of Lafond’s death and will be able to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.