Myles Gray suffered a fractured voice box, nasal fracture, dislocated jaw, fractured orbital eye socket, fractured rib, fractured sternum, hemorrhagic injury to one testicle, and multi-focal bruising to his thigh and arm in arrest by Vancouver cops
For two years, the official version of the events leading to Myles Gray’s death has been vague, as have the injuries he sustained in a fatal confrontation with eight Vancouver police officers in a Burnaby backyard in the summer of 2015.
A petition filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court by the province’s Independent Investigations Office reveals new information about both, including a list of injuries sustained by the 33-year-old small business owner from Sechelt.
According to the court file, Gray suffered a fractured voice box, nasal fracture, dislocated jaw, a fractured right orbital eye socket, a fractured rib, fractured sternum, hemorrhagic injury to one testicle, and multi-focal bruising to his thigh and right arm. A cause of death has not been determined.
“It was worse than I could have imagined,” Gray’s mother, Margie said in an interview Thursday.
Gray died on the afternoon of Aug. 13, 2015, in the backyard of a house on Joffre Avenue, just east of Boundary Road, in Burnaby.
He had been pursued there from the 3600-block South East Marine Drive in Vancouver by as many as six Vancouver police officers, following a complaint of a “distraught man causing a disturbance,” according to a statement from the Vancouver Police Department.
Initial attempts to arrest him resulted in Gray becoming “agitated.” More officers were called, pepper spray was used and, eventually, a “physical” confrontation broke out.
Gray died of the injuries sustained in the arrest.
New details from the petition allege police received reports of Gray harassing a woman by spraying a garden hose at her on South East Marine Drive.
It also claims the caller reported the man was “apparently high on drugs and alcohol.”
Gray’s mother said the incident happened during a severe drought, when watering restrictions were in effect.
She took issue with the caller’s assertion that her son may have been using drugs or alcohol, saying she was told a toxicology screen came back clean. The B.C. Coroners Service told Postmedia it was not able to release information while the police investigation was ongoing.
“I don’t know what happened with the watering woman, but there was nothing in his system,” said Margie Gray. “He was a very fit man, but he’d never been in a fight in his life.”
The petition was filed by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. to ask an officer who witnessed the event to sit for a second interview.
The petition alleges Const. Harder Sahota, the first officer on scene, has refused requests for a second interview.
Martin Youssef, a spokesman with IIOBC, said Wednesday that the main issue for the police watchdog was whether a witness officer was entitled to place conditions on “their duty to cooperate with an IIO investigation.”
“It’s in the public interest for the IIO to conduct a thorough investigation and to determine all the relevant facts, and only after receiving that can we reach conclusions,” he said. “Obviously, we’ve tried a number of different steps leading up to this, and this is a last resort for us.”
Margie and Mark Gray hold a photo March 10, 2016, of their son, Myles, who died at the hands of eight cops in August 2015 under mysterious circumstances.
Myles Gray is seen a few weeks before his death following an altercation with police in Aug. 2015.