Two Vancouver Police officers suffered multiple injuries when they were assaulted while on patrol Tuesday night.
According to VPD Sgt. Steve Addison, the two officers were near Davie Street and Granville around 9 pm, when they were flagged over by a man who said he had just been assaulted by his 31-year-old son. The man added that his son had a mental illness and had stopped taking his medication.
“The father led the officers to a nearby apartment building, where they found the man talking nonsensically and acting strange,” said Addison. “The officers recognized this man was suffering from mental illness and that he needed to see a doctor.”
It was at this point that the man “became extremely violent and assaulted the officers,” he said.
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The suspect kicked, kneed, punched, and scratched the officers during a prolonged struggle. One of the officers – a female – “was repeatedly kicked in the head and face, and had her hair pulled by the suspect,” said Addison.
Her partner has multiple scratches and cuts to his nose, cheeks, and chin. He also suffered a cut lip after the suspect put his fingers in the officer’s mouth during the struggle.
The officers called for emergency backup, and the suspect was arrested for assaulting the two police officers. He was taken to jail and is also expected to undergo a mental health assessment.
The officers were able to complete their shift.
“This is another example of the unpredictable nature of police work, and the dangers VPD officers face every day while working to keep Vancouver safe,” said Addison.
Police in British Columbia have authority under the Mental Health Act to apprehend any person who appears to be suffering a mental health disorder and is a danger to themselves or others and must deliver that person to a doctor for examination.