RCMP watchdog clears Kelowna Mountie in dog bite incident

A Kelowna Mountie has been cleared of any wrongdoing related to an incident that left a suspected bike thief suffering from what was deemed a serious dog bite.

Police were called Aug. 1, 2020 at approximately 10:15 p.m. to investigate a reported theft of an electric-assist bicycle and located a man believed to be involved on the Rail Trail near Hardy Street, according to the Independent Investigations Office, the civilian oversight agency of the police in B.C.

“There was an interaction between the man, a police service dog and his handler. The man sustained a serious dog bite injury,” the IIO said in a press release.

Police provided medical assistance and the man was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

“The Chief Civilian Director of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. reviewed the available evidence and determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an officer has committed an offense,” according to the release.

Accordingly, the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges and the investigation is now concluded.

The watchdog agency said it concluded its investigation in April 2021. However, due to concurrent court proceedings related to this incident, the IIO did not issue any report at the time on the expectation court proceedings might be concluded in the near future.

However, as those proceedings continue, at this point this is the only statement the IIO will make. The IIO will be issuing its usual public report at the conclusion of that court process.

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan said bicycle theft continues to be a crime of opportunity right across the Central Okanagan. More than 1,000 bikes a year are reported stolen and RCMP believes the actual number is much higher.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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