A retired West Vancouver firefighter found his regular morning walk took a turn for the unexpected Friday when he ended up in police custody.
Marcus Fisher, a West Vancouver resident, was walking over the Lions Gate Bridge shortly before 9 a.m. on Aug. 30 when Vancouver police put him in handcuffs and escorted him off the bridge.
"I go over the bridge every morning for a walk, and it was raining and blowing a little bit out of the east," said Fisher. "I was coming back from the south shore over to the North Shore and I stopped at the north tower to get out of the wind and rain for a minute and then I noticed all the traffic on the bridge behind me had stopped."
Fisher said he turned to look around the pillar at the traffic when the next thing he knew, two plain-clothed Vancouver police officers approached him.
"Before I knew what was going on, they had me in handcuffs," he said.
According to Fisher the police told him an ambulance heading southbound had spotted him on the bridge. "One of the ambulance attendants decided I looked like I was going to jump off the bridge so they called the cops," said Fisher.
Const. Brian Montague, spokesman for the Vancouver Police Department, said officers most likely would have handcuffed Fisher for safety reasons. "They spoke to him at length and determined that there was no evidence that the individual was trying to harm himself," said Montague. "It was a misunderstanding."
Montague said the primary concern for police in this type of situation is to make sure individuals do not harm themselves. "Our officers made the determination that that wasn't the case here," said Montague. "They released him from custody. They do have powers under the mental health act to arrest someone who they believe might be a harm to themselves or others, and as soon as that's determined not to be the case, they release them."
West Vancouver police spokesman Const. Jeff Palmer said they did assist the Vancouver police and even offered Fisher a ride home.
Fisher said he's been walking over the bridge for the past five years. "I've never been in handcuffs before, so I thought it was a novel experience and I just went along with it. I just figured 'you guys will figure it out sooner or later because I really haven't done anything wrong,' and I guess they did figure out that I was who I said I was."
© Copyright 2013