Moun­ties cleared af­ter man falls from bal­cony

Dis­traught man jumps af­ter police called to Hwy. 97 ho­tel

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By ANDREA PEA­COCK

A man fall­ing to his death from a Kelowna ho­tel bal­cony was not caused by any wrong­do­ing by police, the In­de­pen­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tions Of­fice of B.C. has found.

On Oct. 14, Kelowna Moun­ties re­sponded to a com­plaint of a dis­tur­bance at a ho­tel in the 2400 block of High­way 97 North that a guest, iden­ti­fied as AP, was caus­ing is­sues with ho­tel staff on the sev­enth floor.

At the time, Sgt. An­nie Lin­teau said the in­di­vid­ual was known to police and was be­ing sought un­der the Men­tal Health Act for an ear­lier in­ci­dent.

Upon ar­rival at AP’s room, Moun­ties an­nounced their pres­ence, but the in­di­vid­ual did not ac­knowl­edge their pres­ence, said Ronald MacDon­ald, chief civil­ian di­rec­tor with the IIO BC, in his re­port.

The of­fi­cers an­nounced they were about to en­ter, but found AP had latched the door shut.

Sev­eral min­utes passed while a staff mem­ber went to get a bolt cut­ter to cut the lock.

In this time, AP climbed over the bal­cony and fell to his death. The lock was cut and the of­fi­cers found no one in the room. The IIO in­ves­ti­gated to de­ter­mine whether an of­fi­cer, through an ac­tion or in­ac­tion, may have com­mit­ted any of­fence in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent that led to AP’s death.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors gath­ered state­ments from 10 civil­ian wit­nesses, ho­tel staff and guests, a wit­ness from another build­ing and a wit­ness in a car, record­ings of 911 calls, record­ings of police ra­dio trans­mis­sions, pho­to­graphs of the scene and video sur­veil­lance record­ings.

In this case, MacDon­ald said it was not un­rea­son­able for ho­tel staff to call police, as AP was swear­ing at staff and had ear­lier thrown some­thing at house­keep­ing staff.

The Moun­ties had a duty to re­move AP from the ho­tel “given the risk he posed to staff and other guests,” said MacDon­ald.

When AP re­fused to open the door for police, Moun­ties had no choice but to en­ter his room to at­tempt to re­move him from the ho­tel, he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, it is ap­par­ent that AP was at­tempt­ing to flee police when he went over the bal­cony rail­ing and at­tempted to get to the bal­cony be­low.”

The IIO BC found there was no ev­i­dence of any in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour by the of­fi­cers in the hall­way, nor did any of­fi­cer do any­thing to di­rectly cause AP’s fall from the bal­cony.

“The ev­i­dence shows they en­tered the room af­ter AP fell,” said MacDon­ald. “There are no grounds to con­sider any charges against an of­fi­cer.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.