A police officer in Vancouver suffered a broken leg on Tuesday after an alleged assault that began over a mask dispute.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says that the incident occurred inside the Vancouver Law Courts at 800 Hornby Street.
“The suspect walked into the courthouse without a mask,” Constable Tania Visintin explains in a statement. “He was asked by the on-duty sheriff to put on a mask, but the man allegedly refused and also refused to leave the building.”
Two VPD officers who were inside the building at the time were notified of the incident and told the man about the mask policy.
Police say that the suspect was “argumentative and physically aggressive with police” and allegedly kicked one of the officers and attempted to reach for his firearm. When the two officers attempted to get the man into custody, police say he fell onto one of the officers, breaking his leg in the process.
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“This man showed complete disregard for the provisions set out by the Provincial Health Officer,” Visintin notes. “This was a senseless confrontation that did not need to escalate to the point where someone was seriously injured.”
The officer who suffered from the broken leg was taken to the hospital for treatment and subsequently released. VPD says that he could be off-duty for several months due to the injury.
Additionally, charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, assault on a peace officer, and disarming a peace officer are being recommended against the 53-year-old suspect.
He was also issued a $230 violation ticket for failing to wear a mask while indoors.