A Surrey man is facing four charges after two Delta Police officers were injured – one suffering significant injuries to his head – during an incident that took place over the long weekend.
According to Delta Police, the incident took place around 9 am on Saturday, when officers were called to Watershed Park for reports of a “suspicious man.”
The member of the public who reported the man also told police he had left the area “because he felt too uncomfortable to go on his planned run on the trails as a result of his encounter.”
An officer arrived at the scene and located a man matching the description given, who then began throwing rocks at the police vehicle as it arrived.
The officer attempted to de-escalate the situation, but the man suddenly ran from him, and entered the driver’s seat of the officer’s police vehicle, which had no keys in it at the time.
It was at this point that the officer radioed for backup at the scene, as well as attendance by Emergency Health Services. He then continued to speak with the man in an effort to de-escalate the incident, but the man became more agitated.
At that point, out of concern for his own safety, as well as the public’s, the officer attempted to handcuff the man.
However, “the man allegedly punched the officer, then used the officer’s handcuffs, which had [been] dropped during the altercation, to repeatedly strike the officer on the face and head,” police said.
Although the officer received “significant injuries” as a result of the incident, he managed to hold the man in place inside the police vehicle.
Other officers in the area responded quickly to the scene, and managed to take the man into custody, but not before the man allegedly bit another police officer twice on the hand.
At this point, the man was subdued by police, and then taken to hospital.
“Our officer received 23 stitches or staples for five separate lacerations to the face and head during this incident, and one of our other responding officers was bitten on the hand,” said Delta Police Supt. Harj Sidhu, head of the Community Policing Bureau. “Both officers will be okay fortunately, but we could have had a very different outcome.”
The incident, Sidhu added, “underscores the dangers that police officers can and do face every day – even on what seems like a fairly standard call of a suspicious person.”
The 23-year-old man was identified as a Surrey resident and is now facing four charges, including assault causing bodily harm, assault of a peace officer, utter threat to cause death or bodily harm, and resist of a peace officer.
Police said he is currently being held for psychiatric assessment.