Police say supervisors will be reaching out to the man to discuss the incident, while the circumstances of his arrest are under review
Alex Fisher took a selfie after he says he was beaten in the face by a Surrey RCMP officer who told him later he had been mistaken for a robbery suspect.
It shows a very bloodied nose and a severely bruised right eye for which he will be getting reconstructive surgery next week to repair a broken orbital bone.
“I’m still dealing with pain and stuff,” said Fisher, a week after the incident.
He was biking in the very early morning of Monday February 8 along 152nd Street near Guildford Town Centre, in between the Impact Plaza and the TD Canada Trust branch, when he saw an RCMP police car flash its sirens.
“I slowed down to talk to him, see what he wanted. He didn’t give me a chance to use words and just rushed out of his vehicle and tackled me off my bike,” said Fisher. “I got hit a good few times.”
“I remember just being on the ground, trying to figure out what was going on with my face pushed down,” said Fisher. “I’m not sure how many times I got hit or if he used a pole.”
“I’m assuming, I could be wrong, but I said he did (use a pole). And he said he didn’t, but I didn’t really believe him.”
The officer told Fisher he resembled a robbery suspect. “The description was just somebody on a bike with a dark jacket, so he says. But I wasn’t the guy.”
“Even if I was, I thought cops were trained to use as little force as possible.”
Fisher says he was handcuffed. Other officers then arrived and an ambulance was called for him.
“It was like half an hour at least with me sitting in the cold while they’re walking around, trying to stay warm or whatever. Some of them in their cars and I’m sitting on the ground.”
At the time, “I didn’t realize how bad it was,” said Fisher. “(The paramedics) recommended I go to a hospital, but I didn’t have to go, they said.”
“When I got home, I blew my nose and I felt my eye go out, so I went to the hospital,” said Fisher, a 27-year-old who does painting jobs, renovations and has worked for an equipment rental company.
B.C. Emergency Health Services confirms there was a call at around 5:45 am that morning to 152nd Street near 101 Avenue, but there was no transport to hospital involved.
Fisher got a business card from the officer who he says hit him first. It lists the name Cst. J. Kim.
“Someone needs to be accountable for this,” said Surrey resident Phil Evans, who has known Fisher since he was in high school with his son.
“Our officers were investigating an armed robbery that had taken place at the 7-11, so directly following the robbery, they were looking for a suspect in the area. They came across an individual who was matching, to some extent, the description of the person they were looking for,” said Sgt. Elenore Sturko, media relations officer for the Surrey RCMP.
She said the officers were “involved in a scuffle with that person,” who was “released without having to be taken to the hospital and until recently, police actually were unaware that he had any substantial injuries at the time.”
She said supervisors will be reaching out to Fisher to discuss the incident, while the circumstances of his arrest are under review.
“Everything that occurred during from the time that the police car stopped, including what led up to them stopping that individual to now finding out what the after-effects are for this individual will be part of what they’re going to look into.”
She clarified the information she currently had was that the officers “asked the guy to stop. He didn’t stop and they took him down from his bicycle believing that this was the armed robber. The person was injured as a result of falling to the ground off their bicycle and they struggled with the person to get them into handcuffs. Whether or not any blows were given to the individual, I actually don’t know, but we will review all of the actions of the officers involved and speak to the injured man as well.”