Dashcam video has surfaced showing Vancouver police chasing a suspect back and forth across a busy Granville Street before a canine officer catches him and sinks its teeth into his leg.
The dramatic footage was posted to YouTube Monday, but appears to show the final moments of a tense foot pursuit that happened last week near Granville and Southwest Marine Drive.
It shows the fleeing suspect get hit by a car, get up, and then trip over the median, giving the police dog a chance to latch onto him.
At least seven officers, most of them in plainclothes, then approach the man and begin punching and kicking him as they place him in handcuffs.
Graham Scott Beattie, a 40-year-old Surrey resident, has since been charged with two counts of breaking into a dwelling and one count of attempted theft of auto over $5,000.
Beattie appeared in court Tuesday morning with a large gash across his left cheek.
Criminal lawyer Mitchell Fogel said Beattie told him the gash was from one of the kicks he received from the officers, which also knocked him unconscious.
“At one point he’s clearly immobilized and more people come in and treat him aggressively. It’s my opinion that might not have been necessary,” Fogel said.
The VPD has sent a copy of the video to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner for an independent assessment. But the force is standing by the officers’ actions.
“When you’re dealing with a known, potentially dangerous suspect, the primary objective is to get a suspect under control and arrest without any further threats to public or police officer safety,” Const. Jason Doucette said in a statement.
Police said they were trying to arrest three break-in suspects on the afternoon of Nov. 30 when one of the men bolted and allegedly tried to carjack two vehicles to escape, including a taxi.
The YouTube video, posted by a user xSupaD, begins with a man approaching a cab near the Chevron gas station before several unmarked police vehicles pull up and officers begin running towards him.
The suspect runs across all six lanes of traffic in a desperate bid to evade police before turning back toward the Chevron, where he falls down and is placed under arrest.
Two counts of breaking into a dwelling have also been approved against Richmond resident Harold Jason Gillis, 42, and Vancouver resident Joseph Leon Kidd, 34, is facing one count.
Though officers managed to arrest all three suspects, the incident was an embarrassment for Vancouver police – a second canine officer that was involved in the chase attacked a 75-year-old bystander.
Const. Jason Doucette said the victim just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Our goal here is to arrest the bad guys and ensure public safety, and in this situation something didn’t go as planned,” Doucette told reporters last week. “Our dog bit someone that wasn’t the intended target.”
The senior had to be treated in hospital as well.
Joshua Paterson of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said it’s hard to tell from the video whether or not there was any line crossed by the officers in Beattie’s arrest.
“It’s hard to pass judgement just looking at the video but it certainly raises questions as to whether or not appropriate force was used on the ground,” Paterson said.
Beattie will return to court on Friday for a bail hearing.