An RCMP officer caught on camera appears to repeatedly beat a man, appearing in Kelowna state court for the first time during an assault trial.
Constant Siggy Pietrzak was charged with assault in April 2021. This comes almost a year after being involved in what has been called an assault arrest in downtown Kelowna.
The man arrested in the May 30, 2020 incident was charged with disobedience and has been detained for obstruction of justice. Tyler Russell said in his testimony earlier this year that he agreed he would not comply.
Police officer David Carter, who originally arrested Constant Russell, previously said in court that he required Russell to take a breathalyzer test on suspicion of DUI.
An investigation revealed that Russell did not have the keys to the car he was sitting in. Russell, he claims, was waiting for a friend, not intending to drive.
When Carter tried to arrest Russell, Russell spoke up and Carter asked for backup.
At this time, Pietzac offered his assistance, but Watch Command dispatched Konst. Donahue to the scene.
Minutes after arriving on the scene, Donahue called for backup.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, Const. Pietrzak told the court he felt it was appropriate for him to be present at the scene, even though he was not officially deployed.
After arriving, Pietzac claimed to have seen Donahue and Carter on either side of Russell, looking tired and struggling to complete the arrest.
Pietrzak said he saw handcuffs and a microphone on the ground.
He then told the court he saw Russell stand up while Carter headlocked him. I’m here.
Pietrzak said he saw one of Russell’s arms “twisted” and believed his hand was in a fist.
However, during Carter’s proceedings early in the trial, Russell was not aggressive, he told the court.
“My assessment was that Mr Russell was behaving in an aggressive manner … based on the totality of everything I saw …. I felt a very quick response was required,” Pietrzak said on Tuesday. said.
Trying to help, Pietsak decides to sprint towards the altercation, intending to “clamp” Russell’s leg. He claimed to have shortened his stride and changed direction when he realized his legs were inaccessible.
Pietrzak then said he changed tactics and tried to control the situation by grabbing Russell’s head, but failed.
At that time, he reflected on his training in court and said he decided it would be advantageous to use strikes to “refocus” Russell and “throw him off balance.”
“My intention was to get Mr Russell into police custody as quickly and effectively as possible.”
Pietzak then delivered the first blow to Russell’s head. The scene was recorded on video. He claimed that two of his four strikes were related.
“The fourth strike changed Mr. Russell’s behavior,” says Pietrzak.
Still, the court was told that four more strikes had been carried out by Pietzak, some of which were related.
Russell was then taken into custody.
Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet confirmed that Pietrzak remained suspended on pay. She said his work situation is subject to ongoing review and evaluation, and a code of conduct investigation is underway.
The trial ended on September 22, and a decision is expected in December.
Assault News Bulletin Kelowna City RCMP
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