An officer with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) was sent to hospital Tuesday night with significant injuries after he was assaulted during a routine traffic stop in downtown Vancouver.
According to police, the incident began just before 10 pm, when two officers observed a Dodge Durango drive through an area of Granville Street that has restricted vehicle access. The officers initiated a traffic stop on Robson Street between Granville and Seymour streets.
All three men in the vehicle, in their early 20s, were confrontational and verbally abusive.
The officers became concerned for their safety as the occupants refused to follow police direction and began reaching under the seat.
When one officer opened the passenger door, the front passenger pulled him into the vehicle and two men began to punch him repeatedly in his head and face.
As the other officer rushed to help, all three men exited the vehicle and continued to assault the officers.
At that point, the officers called for emergency back-up and before help arrived, one of the men ran from the scene and was pursued by the uninjured officer.
The suspect ran through a red light at Robson Street and Seymour Street and was struck by a vehicle. He continued to run until he was arrested by the pursuing officer on Richards Street between Robson and Smithe.
“This is an example of the risk all police officers face as they work to protect the citizens they serve,” said VPD Sgt. Jason Robillard. “This sort of incident affects the entire policing community.”
All three men have been arrested. Two of the men are from West Vancouver and one is from Victoria.
Criminal charges, including assault causing bodily harm, assault against a police officer, theft and obstruction, are pending. Other charges, related to alcohol and drugs seized from the vehicle, may also be laid.
The man that ran from the scene was uninjured but he was assessed at hospital and released. The injured police officer is now recovering at home.
“We wish our officer a speedy recovery and will ensure the officer and his family have the support they need,” said Robillard.