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Police may be charged in dog bite takedown

Suspect required surgery to close wounds
First responders load a suspect into an ambulance following a police takedown on the Capilano River Bridge, Feb. 26, 2020.

This story has been amended since first posting to provide an update on the suspect’s court appearances and to correct an earlier version that mistakenly stated West Vancouver officers were the subject of the IIO investigation when in fact it was one other police agency involved in the arrest, according to WVPD.

Police officers may have committed a crime in a takedown in that left a suspect with serious dog bites, the province’s Independent Investigations Office says.

The February 2020 incident started with a wanted man fleeing police in Abbotsford and ended in a crash and police takedown on the Capilano River Bridge.

Shortly after, the independent police oversight body stepped in to investigate as a police dog bit the suspect hard enough that surgery was required to close the wounds.

“Upon completion of the investigation, chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald, reviewed the evidence and determined there are reasonable grounds to believe that an officer may have committed an offence in relation to the use of a police service dog during the arrest,” a release from the IIO stated Monday afternoon.

The IIO is automatically tasked to review any police incidents that result in serious harm or death and may result in a recommendation to the BC Prosecution Service to lay criminal charges.

It will be up to the Crown to decide whether charges would have a substantial likelihood of conviction and whether a prosecution would be in the public interest.

In February, the suspect, 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.

WVPD has declined to comment.