Crown Counsel has approved charges against three men in their early 20s who are alleged to have taken part in a violent confrontation with Vancouver police Tuesday night.
West Vancouver residents, Brendan John Robinson, 21, and Troy Michael Robinson, 22, are each charged with assaulting a police officer causing bodily harm and willfully obstructing a police officer.
Brian Benjamin Allen, a 24-year-old Victoria resident, is charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000 for allegedly taking the injured officer’s cell phone.
The three men currently remain in custody.
Video from the incident has been posted to YouTube and can be seen below. The VPD wants to speak to anyone who has video of the incident. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The incident began shortly before 10 p.m. on Oct. 9 when two plainclothes officers pulled over a Dodge Durango with three passengers driving through a restricted area of Granville. The Vancouver Police Department noted in an Oct. 10 press conference that the vehicle had an N designation, which would restrict the driver to being the lone occupant.
The suspects appeared confrontational from the word go and refused police direction, according to the VPD. Sgt. Jason Robillard said one of the accused intentionally lit a cigarette and blew the smoke in the officer’s face, while another began reaching under a seat.
“To me, that’s confrontational, that’s disrespectful, and that caused a lot of what happened here,” Robillard told reporters Wednesday morning. “This is the attitude of the three occupants our officers were dealing with and it escalated quite quickly.”
It was at this point that things went completely off the rails. The VPD said one of the officers was pulled into the vehicle and all three men allegedly punched him repeatedly in the face and head.
From there, one of the suspects attempted to flee on foot, ran through a red light at the intersection of Robson and Seymour streets and was hit by a vehicle. The suspect continued to flee and was later caught a few blocks down the road.
As this was happening, backup officers converged back on Granville Street and arrested all three men who are in their early 20s and “well known to police and have a history with police.”
The injured officer has since been released from hospital. Robillard described his injuries as “substantial,” though he couldn’t give any indication as to when the officer will return to work.
“We deal with hundreds of these traffic stops weekly. This one, unfortunately, turned ugly and turned assaultive to our officers,” Robillard said. “And in this case, they were defending themselves.”