A Campbell River RCMP officer was assaulted during a wellness check on Monday, Aug. 16.
Shortly before noon, the officer attended a call in the 700 block of the South Island Highway. A man was found sitting half in, and half out of a vehicle.
When the officer attempted to rouse him, the man elbowed him in the solar plexus. A brief struggle ensued, and the 42-year-old Campbell River man was taken into custody.
He could be facing charges of Impaired Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle, as well as Assault of a Police Officer.
Cst Maury Tyre with the Campbell River RCMP said the incident is a prime example of what can go wrong on the most benign of calls.
“With many check -well-being files, officers have absolutely no idea who or what they are going to encounter,” he said. “In this situation a full size Katana sword, and multiple other bladed items were located within reach of the suspect.
“If the officer had not been able to control his wits and body long enough to get the suspect in custody, the situation could have turned tragic.”
Tyre noted as of Aug 17 the Campbell River RCMP have generated 11,264 calls for police action in 2021. As of the same date in 2020, they had responded to 10,462 calls; a file load 7.5 per cent less than this year to date.
So far, local RCMP officers have experienced 11 reported assaults against them during those calls, which doubles instances in all of 2020.
“Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of violence that comes with the job, and I think most people who become officers realize there’s a level of risk in what we do,” said Tyre. “That being said, to see such a drastic increase in violence against police in a year speaks to some deeper problems.
“Clearly I knew that the career of a police officer was not going to be sunshine and roses,” he added, “But some of the incidents can definitely push the patience of even the calmest of officers.”