Hockey player accused of grabbing child sent to psychiatric hospital
30-year-old Giffen Nyren has been at Kelowna General Hospital since his arrest on Sunday
A hockey player facing charges for allegedly grabbing a toddler in a Kelowna, B.C., park has been sent to a psychiatric hospital after an appearance in court.
Thirty-year-old Harold Giffen Nyren of Calgary is charged with assault and willfully obstructing a police officer in connection with the incident this weekend.
He appeared in court Wednesday, wearing a hospital gown and sitting in a wheelchair.
A judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Nyren was arrested on Sunday after officers were called to Kerry Park in response to reports that a small child being held by their mother had been grabbed.
Witnesses said the suspect tried to flee by swimming into Okanagan Lake after struggling with the child's mother.
Images and video posted online appear to show the suspect taking off his clothes and jumping into the water. He was arrested and led away without any clothing.
Police have said the child didn't appear to be injured in the struggle, but was examined in hospital.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/KelownaRCMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KelownaRCMP</a> lead away a suspect at Kerry Park after a child was allegedly grabbed from their mother Sunday. Witnesses said after being rebuffed, the suspect took his clothes off and swam in Okanagan Lake before being apprehended. Child is OK. Video: Madison Attwood. <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcnewsbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cbcnewsbc</a> <a href="https://t.co/fcRwkqLcBs">pic.twitter.com/fcRwkqLcBs</a>—@ChadPawson
Nyren spent five years as a hockey player in the WHL, and spent the past three seasons with teams in Europe.
Darryl Woloski, Nyren's former agent, told CBC the allegations against the athlete don't match up with the man he knows.
"It really caught me off guard, personally," Woloski told CBC.
He described Nyren as "always very professional and very polite."
Nyren has been at Kelowna General Hospital since his arrest. His next court date is scheduled for May 15.
With files from Brady Strachan