Four Trois-Rivières police officers have been formally charged with assault and a number of other criminal offences for the alleged beating of an armed robbery suspect last February.

André St-Amant, Barbara Provencher, Dominic Pronovost and Kaven Deslauriers were not present in the Trois-Rivières courthouse on Friday but were represented by their lawyer.

They were charged with assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, negligent use of a firearm, fabricating police reports and obstruction of justice.

Last February, a CÉGEP de Trois-Rivières surveillance camera recorded video of two officers chasing the suspect, 19-year-old Alexis Vadeboncoeur, on foot.

The video shows that a few moments later, a police cruiser arrived on the scene.

Vadeboncoeur then lay face down in the snow, his arms and legs splayed out beside him.

One of the officers ran over to the prone man and jumped on his back, punching him.

The video showed the three others then joined the first one, kicking and punching the man repeatedly and dragging Vadeboncoeur through the snow.

Vadeboncoeur claims he was hit in the head and in the genitals. In all, the ordeal lasted about one minute.  

La Sûreté du Québec was called in to investigate the alleged assault.  A disciplinary investigation is also underway.

The four officers have been suspended with pay.  They are expected back in court on Sept. 27.