Police watchdog called in after man dies following arrest in Metro Vancouver

Dec 23 2019, 4:32 pm

After a man went into medical distress and later died following his arrest in Metro Vancouver on Sunday, BC’s police watchdog has now been called in to investigate the incident.

According to Coquitlam RCMP, police were called to a residence around 4:30 pm on December 22 as part of a follow-up investigation. While at the home, officers inquired “about a man who had a number of warrants for his arrest.”

Just before 5:30 pm, police said a member of the Coquitlam Traffic Unit was conducting traffic enforcement and “saw a man run out of a wooded area into traffic on the Mary Hill by-pass,” where he was almost struck.

The officer then pursued the man, whom he witnessed attempting to open the doors of multiple running vehicles.

Eventually, the man entered the rear seat of a vehicle, shortly after which the officer placed him under arrest. At this point, police said the man became unresponsive.

Police said the officer provided the man with medical assistance, which emergency medical crews continued once they arrived on scene.

Ultimately though, the man – who is believed to be the person about whom that officers were originally inquiring – was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now, the Independent Investigations of BC (IIOBC) said it is investigating to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the man’s death.

As the matter is now under investigation by the IIO BC, police said they will not be releasing any further information on the incident.