VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Vancouver Police officer has a broken leg after a run-in with a man who refused to wear a mask inside the Vancouver Law Courts, Tuesday.
An on-duty sheriff asked the 53-year-old man to mask up or leave, after he walked into the courthouse without his face covered.
— CityNews Vancouver (@CityNewsVAN) January 28, 2021
But he refused, and also refused to leave the building. That’s when two VPD officers, who were inside the courthouse, were called in to help.
“Our officers attended to assist the sheriffs. The man got increasingly more argumentative and became physically aggressive with our officers,” says VPD Cst. Tania Visintin. “He then kicked one of our officers and attempted to reach for his firearm.”
As police struggled to arrest the man, Visintin says he fell on one of the officers, breaking the officer’s leg.
#VPDNews: A Vancouver Police officer suffered a broken leg when he was allegedly assaulted by a man who refused to wear a mask inside the Vancouver Law Courts yesterday. https://t.co/zN3VJYtX0j pic.twitter.com/TUuAKltfvZ
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) January 27, 2021
The officer was taken to the hospital and released. Visintin says he could be off duty for several months due to his injury.
The VPD is recommending charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, assault on a peace officer, and disarming a peace officer against the man.
He was also handed a $230 ticket under current public health orders for not wearing a mask in an indoor public space.
“This is something that is so minor in the sense of, we all know we need to put on a mask any time we enter an indoor public space. We’ve been saying this for almost a year now. And this small little thing that could have been prevented was escalated. It was senseless, it did not need to get to the point where it got to and now one of our members will be off for several months,” Visintin tells NEWS 1130.
The officer is expected to have surgery on his leg.
“It was all so senseless, and so reckless, and it didn’t need to happen. Hopefully people can learn from this and we can just all wear a mask and go about our time,” she adds.