Skip to content

Abbotsford officer charged for police dog bite in West Van takedown

Use of the police dog amounts to assault with a weapon, Crown prosecutors allege
First responders load a suspect into an ambulance following a police takedown on the Capilano River Bridge, Feb. 26, 2020.

An Abbotsford Police Department member has now been criminally charged for his role in a West Vancouver takedown that left a suspect with serious injuries.

The arrest happened on Feb. 26, 2020 after a suspect, who was wanted on arrest warrants in Ontario, led police on a 70-kilometre pursuit from Abbotsford to the Capilano River Bridge in West Vancouver. There, officers from multiple departments forced the suspect’s vehicle into the median and he was arrested with the help of a police dog.

The province’s Independent Investigations Office, which is automatically tasked to review police incidents that involve death or serious harm to a member of the public, announced it would be probing the incident because the suspect received dog bite wounds that required surgery to close.

In April 2021, the IIO forward a report to Crown counsel recommending they consider charges after concluding “there are reasonable grounds to believe that an Abbotsford Police Department officer may have committed an offence in relation to the use of a police service dog during the arrest.”

The BC Prosecution Service announced Thursday (June 23) that it had approved charges of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm against Abbotsford Const. Shaun Nagel.

“The charges were approved by an experienced Crown counsel with no prior or current connection with the officer,” the statement read.

In February 2021, Dustin Mills was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, escaping from custody and assault with intent to resist arrest. He was sentenced to time served, court records show.

Abbotsford Police Department officials declined to comment on the charges as the matter is now before the courts, although Nagel remains on active duty, according to the force. 

He is due in North Vancouver provincial court on Aug. 3.

[email protected]