Coquitlam RCMP are under fire after being filmed dragging an elderly man down the stairs and manhandling an elderly woman, as a young girl cries at officers.
The incident occurred at around 10:30 pm on Thursday, October 27, and followed a voting disagreement at a condo strata meeting being held at the Best Western Hotel at 319 North Road.
According to Victor Kim, who filmed the altercation, the RCMP were called to keep the peace after insults were thrown and residents came close to violence.
“The vote was rigged, that’s why everything happened,” Kim tells Daily Hive.
Kim alleges the elderly lady in the video approached the ballot box to sign the tape used to seal it and prevent tampering. One of the officers allegedly pushed her away from the box and the dispute escalated.
“Her husband got upset. They’re 80 years old,” says Kim, adding that he ran into the hallway after he heard the screams of their granddaughter.
That’s when he started filming.
Kim shot two videos of the incident, which we have combined into a single clip that you can view at the top of this story.
The video shows the elderly man laying on the landing of the hotel stairs as an officer screams “stop resisting.” The officer then seems to have dragged the man down the stairs.
Meanwhile, another officer is attempting to handcuff the elderly woman, who, according to Kim, doesn’t speak English well.
Her granddaughter can be heard screaming, “Don’t do that! That’s my grandmother!”
There also appears to be a broken drinking glass at the bottom of the stairs.
The elderly woman was taken to the hospital after the incident, says Kim, who stayed with her until 2 am.
In a statement issued to Daily Hive, Supt. Sean Maloney, Officer in Charge of Coquitlam RCMP, confirmed police were called due to problems at the strata meeting.
“It was reported that a strata annual general meeting had gotten out of hand and that some parties in attendance were potentially fighting,” said Maloney.
After police arrived, says Maloney, a decision was taken to end the meeting, but the elderly couple allegedly refused to leave and were arrested by officers.
The couple were then assessed by Emergency Health Services to ensure their wellbeing, says Maloney, who says no public complaint has been received about the incident.
“However, I respect and understand that the video may cause concern to the public,” said Maloney. “I have initiated a review into the actions of the police officers involved. This review will also include looking further into the reasons behind our attendance.”
Meanwhile, police are still investigating the elderly couple and will be forwarding a report to Crown Counsel for their assessment of criminal charges, says Maloney.
“I want to acknowledge up front that the Coquitlam RCMP relies on the trust and cooperation of our community,” said Maloney. “Policing is and must be a partnership with the community.
“I ask for the community’s understanding to give time for a fulsome review to take place, so I can make an informed decision about the next steps.”
Kim believes the situation could have been handled better by the Coquitlam RCMP.
“The police officers have no conscience. I respect what they do, but after last night, it makes me think.”
“If they can do that to an old couple, what else will they do to anybody?” adds Kim.
“I don’t think [the officers] were in danger from that couple. Maybe they were doing their job, but that was too much.”