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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ASIRT investigates serious injury incident involving Lethbridge Police Service

ASIRT - On Aug. 15, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding serious injuries sustained by a 41 year old man while detained by a Lethbridge Police Service member.

At approximately 12:04 a.m., a security alarm was triggered at the Centre Village Liquor Store in the 200 block of 12 Street North in Lethbridge, Alberta. Members of the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) responded shortly thereafter and, upon arrival, found what appeared to have been a break and enter. However, there was no suspect on scene. Officers reviewed store surveillance video and were able to obtain a physical description of the person responsible and the clothes that the person had been wearing. This description was broadcast to patrol members.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., while on patrol, a Lethbridge Police Service officer encountered a man walking on Stafford Drive that appeared to match the clothing and general appearance of the person who had been involved in the liquor store break and enter. The officer approached the man and a brief discussion occurred. Shortly thereafter, the man fell approximately 15 feet onto the ground below Stafford Drive, sustaining injuries. The man was not restrained in any way at the time.

Emergency medical services responded, treated and transported the man to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. It was determined that he had sustained a fractured left foot that will require surgery. He currently remains in hospital.

ASIRT’s investigation will focus on the circumstances surrounding the serious injury sustained by the man while being detained. The investigation will determine whether police conduct may have caused or significantly contributed to the serious injury and, if so, whether that conduct was lawful. The original investigation into the break and enter into the Centre Village Liquor Store and the 41-year-old man’s involvement in it, if any, remains the responsibility of the Lethbridge Police Service.

As ASIRT’s investigation is in its early stages, no further information will be released at this time.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

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