Bar beating won't lead to charges for Creston RCMP officers

There will be no criminal charge of excessive force laid against a Creston RCMP officer over an altercation last October, after the Criminal Justice Branch concluded there isn't enough evidence.

Tom Campen, 50, ended up in hospital after a confrontation at a bar involving two police officers

Tom Campen said an RCMP officer grabbed his fingers and pushed him backward when he got up to speak during a woman's arrest in Creston's Kokanee Inn. The next thing he said he remembers is waking up in hospital. (CBC)

There will be no criminal charge of excessive force laid against a Creston RCMP officer over a confrontation last October, after the Criminal Justice Branch concluded there isn't enough evidence.

The potential for charges stems from an incident at the Kokanee Inn, in which a 50-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries after he got involved while police were arresting a woman in a bar.

All Tom Campen says he remembers is standing up and talking to the officers, and then waking up with black eyes, a swollen face, cuts and a broken rib.

The Delta Police Department and the Independent Investigations Office office both investigated, and the IIO's chief civilian director, Richard Rosenthal, told CBC News this was the first case they have looked at where an officer may have committed a criminal offense.

Rosenthal forwarded the file to the Criminal Justice Branch, which reviewed it and now says there will be no criminal charges laid because the evidence doesn't support the likelihood of a conviction.

Branch spokeswoman Samantha Hulme says the Crown would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt an offense  occurred when tested against Section 25(1) of the Criminal Code.

"That section says, when the police are acting on reasonable grounds they are justified in using as much force as is necessary for doing what they are required or authorized to do in the enforcement of the law," she said.

Owen Court, a spokesman for the IIO, says his office submits evidence but doesn't recommend charges, and can't shed any more light onto the case.

"We understand Crown's decision. Crown Counsel maintains full jurisdiction over the charge assessment process and we aren't able to offer any further comment on the decision," Court said.

Campen is now facing charges of obstructing a police officer.

With files from the CBC's Terry Donnelly