No charges will be laid against a Penticton RCMP officer accused of injuring an elderly woman’s arm during her arrest earlier this year for public intoxication, the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch announced Friday.
According to the so-called clear statement, the Crown assessed evidence collected by the civilian-led Independent Investigations Office, but concluded there is “no substantial likelihood” the officer would be convicted in court of using excessive force.
The woman who filed the complaint was arrested on the afternoon of April 8 after allegedly causing a disturbance at the Penticton library, the statement explained.
After she left with the aid of a walker, a security guard watched as she attempted to cross Main Street, where she fell down and was helped up by an RCMP officer who was driving by.
An hour later, the woman returned to the library, where she allegedly assaulted a staff member and was then escorted out.
The officer who dealt with the woman earlier found her on Fairview Road and offered her a ride home, but she became belligerent and was arrested for public intoxication.
As he helped her into the police car, the woman struck the Mountie, who then took hold of her arm to restrain her.
She was released from jail the next day and diagnosed a week later with a broken wrist, which she claimed she suffered during her arrest.
“Crown counsel has concluded that on the available evidence, it is impossible to determine when and how the complainant’s wrist was broken,” concluded the clear statement, which noted the injury could have happened when the woman fell on Main Street or was banging on the counter at the library or on a glass divider in the police car.
“Even if the complainant felt pain when the officer grabbed onto her arm, this action cannot be shown to be more than a measured response to her striking him.”
The statement added that the officer’s version on events was backed up by other witnesses, plus photographic and video evidence.