A police dog handler got choked up while recalling how he heard a fellow officer had been shot during the chaotic chain of events that unfolded in Abbotsford two years ago.
RCMP Const. Curtis Quanstrom was testifying Friday at the murder trial for Oscar Arfmann, the man accused of shooting Abbotsford Const. John Davidson twice in the back on Nov. 6, 2017.
Arfmann, 67, has pleaded not guilty to his charge of first-degree murder.
Quanstrom and his K-9 partner, a police dog named Falcon, were some of the first members on the scene after Davidson was shot, the court heard Friday.
Davidson himself was responding to a report of a stolen Mustang. The car had allegedly been taken by Arfmann from a car lot across the street from where Davidson was later shot.
The court previously heard the suspect vehicle was rammed twice by a police cruiser to prevent it from fleeing the crime scene. The man inside, who past witnesses have identified as Arfmann, was shot during the takedown.
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Multiple officers then descended on the suspect, including Quanstrom, who testified Falcon entered the suspect vehicle through a window.
Quanstrom told the court he commanded the 90-pound German Shepard to engage — meaning “bite” — but the dog did not listen.
Instead, Falcon began licking the suspect’s face, which was covered in blood that was flowing from a large gash to the head.
Quanstrom testified he grabbed a rifle from the passenger side of the suspect vehicle, then tried to pull Falcon out of the window.
The court has already heard the suspect was eventually taken out of the car and taken to hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds.
Off-hand statement tossed out
Also on Friday, the judge made a ruling on a bizarre incident that happened in court on May 29 that became subject of a “voir dire” process — an in-trial hearing to determine the admissibility of new evidence.
That day, Deputy Sheriff Paul Cumming testified he heard Arfmann mumble something while being escorted out of the prisoner’s box, after testimony from a witness who was describing what the shooter was wearing.
Cumming had told the court he heard Arfmann say, “I was wearing a black leather jacket and a Harley Davidson hat. What a dangerous f–k I must be.”
Crown called Cumming to testify as a surprise witness to prove the comment was a spontaneous admission by Arfmann.
That prompted the defence to call Arfmann himself to the stand, who told the court he had actually said, “It’s a Harley Davidson-style leather jacket and it sure as f–k wasn’t me.”
WATCH: (Aired May 30) Trial of man accused in killing of Abbotsford police officer hears from suspect
On Friday, Madam Justice Carol Ross threw out Arfmann’s statement, calling the evidence “inadmissible.”
Defence is arguing their client’s mental health is an issue, despite Crown arguing Arfmann has already been presumed to be fit.
An earlier assessment done found Arfmann was mentally fit to stand trial, but now another assessment is ongoing.
That assessment will determine whether Arfmann was “not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder” at the time of the incident.
At the time of Arfmann’s arrest, his family said he had been struggling with mental health issues.
The defence is also arguing Crown’s witnesses have mistaken their client as the shooter, suggesting someone else was responsible for Davidson’s death.
The trial is slated to last eight weeks and will hear from as many as 30 witnesses.