B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating an incident involving the Surrey RCMP in Guildford earlier this month – and police have issued a “complete apology” – after a man complained Surrey Mounties mistook him for a robbery suspect and left him injured.
According to police, officers were responding to an armed robbery at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 8 at a business in the 10300-block of 152nd Street. The suspect had been seen leaving the scene on a bicycle.
Phil Evans told the Now-Leader that police stopped his son’s friend, 27-year-old Alex Fisher, while he was riding a bicycle and the police allegedly “pulled him off his bike and slammed his face into the ground.”
Rebecca Whalen, a spokeswoman for the Surrey-based Independent Investigations Office of B.C. couldn’t confirm the name of the complainant but said an investigation is underway.
“A responding officer located a person he believed matched the description of the suspect, riding a bicycle nearby and placed him under arrest,” a separate statement by BC RCMP issued Tuesday (Feb. 16) reads.
“The man allegedly resisted the officer’s attempts to take him into custody and a struggle ensued. With assistance of several back-up officers, the man was taken into custody.”
The man was assessed and treated by paramedics at the scene. Once officers determined he wasn’t the suspect, the man was released from police custody.
The man suffered “serious injuries,” police said.
“The RCMP regrets the mistake made in identifying the man and now offers a complete apology to him,” the BC RCMP said.
B.C.’s police watchdog investigates all incidents involving police that end in injury or death to determine if police action or inaction played a role.