The Kelowna RCMP detachment said it will conduct an internal review of officer actions after a rough arrest was caught on video and circulated on social media.
The video shows a police officer pinning a man up against the back of a tow truck in an attempt to apprehend him before a physical altercation ensues.
“Put your hands on top of your f–king head,” the officer is heard shouting several times.
The officer administers physical blows to the man’s torso as he screams in pain and the situation escalates. The officer takes a few swings at the man’s head, but it’s unclear from the video if his fist made contact.
“You’re holding him!” a female bystander is heard saying on the video, distressed by what is unfolding.
The officer eventually tackles the man to the ground and the video ends.
In response to the witness cellphone video surfacing online, the Kelowna RCMP said they are reviewing the circumstances of the arrest of the man, who was allegedly in possession of a stolen vehicle.
A tow truck driver reported that he located the stolen Pontiac near the intersection of Gaston Avenue and Ellison Street in Kelowna on May 9 at approximately 12:30 a.m.
The vehicle was reported stolen from the impound lot of a tow truck company two days prior.
When an officer arrived at the scene, he located a man inside the vehicle. The man was told he was under arrest.
“The man was uncooperative with the officer, actively resisted arrest, and refused to show the officer his hands while clenching his hands in the front at his waistband,” alleged Kelowna RCMP.
“In order to take the man into custody, assistance was required from several backup officers.”
The suspect received medical treatment before being held in custody at the Kelowna detachment, police said.
He has since been released on conditions for a future court date.
“We are aware of witness video of this arrest,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy of the Kelowna RCMP.
“This file, and the actions of our officers, will be thoroughly reviewed through our internal processes. We ask anyone who was a witness to this matter, or who has surveillance or video footage, to contact us immediately.”
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at (250) 762-3300.
It’s not the first time a rough arrest involving a Kelowna Mountie has been caught on film.
Const. Siggy Pietrzak was seen on video throwing numerous punches at a man who was being detained by other officers on May 30, 2020.
Pietrzak has since been charged with assault.