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B.C. man sues Vernon RCMP over excessive force, police dog attack

The man claims police broke into his house while he was sleeping and released a police dog in his bedroom
A Vernon man has sued the Vernon RCMP and three officers over allegations of assault and excessive force, according to a notice of civil claim filed Feb. 14, 2022. (Morning Star file photo)

A Vernon man has filed a lawsuit against the local RCMP detachment, alleging police officers were guilty of assault and excessive force when they broke into his house and unleashed a police dog on him in 2020.

According to a notice of civil claim filed in BC Supreme Court Feb. 14, Wesley Alexander Whiteside is suing three RCMP officers (John Doe 1, 2 and 3), the Vernon detachment and the Minister of Public Safety General over events that took place on Feb. 29, 2020.

That night, the maintenance worker claims he was asleep in bed when RCMP officers broke into his home and sent a police dog inside his bedroom, at which point the police dog bit him on the arm and dragged him out of bed and into the kitchen.

In the kitchen, the claim alleges the three officers assaulted Whiteside, leaving him with a concussion and injuries to his back, legs, arms and face.

The notice of claim makes no mention of an arrest aside from the plaintiff’s claim that police used excessive force to “illegally detain” him. It is unclear what police were doing at Whiteside’s residence that night.

The claim alleges police breached their duty of care, failed to warn Whiteside of their presence and the police dog’s, failed to maintain control of the dog and committed assault using excessive force. It also alleges Whiteside was delivered to hospital by police without having the chance to properly dress.

According to the statement, Whiteside continues to undergo medical care as a result of the injuries he sustained that night, and he’s suffered from PTSD, a loss of enjoyment in life and a loss of income and earning capacity.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain and suffering as well as health care expenses past and future.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The RCMP has not responded to the claim but has 21 days to do so.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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