MALAKWA (NEWS 1130) – The death of an Okanagan man within hours of being Tasered by Mounties is being investigated by B.C.’s police watchdog.
A stun gun was used to subdue 38-year-old Clayton Donnelly during his arrest early Monday morning in Malakwa, near Sicamous in the Okanagan. The Independent Investigations Office is now trying to determine if police are responsible for his death.
“There was a driver who had been involved with the police earlier in a couple of other attempts to stop they vehicle he was driving. There was an interaction between the individual and the police where there was a struggle between the police and the individual. During that struggle, the male went unconscious,” says Ron MacDonald, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO.
Devastated family of 38-year-old #Okanagan man waiting to find out if he died because tasered by Mounties.
Clayton Donnelly died in hospital last night following struggle during Monday morning arrest in #Malakwa. @iiobc and @bccoroners investigating cause of death. @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) October 30, 2019
He says an autopsy will determine exactly why he died Tuesday evening in hospital.
“We are still investigating as to whether or not the Taser actually had any impact,” he says.
The IIO has been in touch with the family, and MacDonald says he understands their frustration, but it could take several weeks for all their questions to be answered.
“We have alerted them to the type of information we’ve gathered up to now, but in terms of answers, answers come when an investigation is complete and as I always say, start the investigation from zero with no pre-conceived notions, find out what happened, get all the facts and then, make a determination,” he says.
Police say they made several attempts to stop Donnelly’s vehicle early Monday morning after getting reports of an erratic driver. Kelowna RCMP first found him around 1:30 a.m. but weren’t able to stop his vehicle. He was stopped by the Sicamous and Salmon Arm RCMP soon after, but drove away, again.
Finally, around 3:20 a.m., his vehicle was stopped in Malakwa, 20 kilometres northeast of Sicamous. That’s when he apparently resisted arrest and went into medical distress. He was sent to hospital in critical condition where he later died.