Indigenous man sues RCMP in B.C., claiming 'abusive' use of police dog left him in 'agony'
Lawsuit alleges officer 'encouraged' dog's bites during arrest captured on surveillance video
A man from Kamloops, B.C., is suing an RCMP officer from Prince George after being attacked by a police dog during a violent arrest caught on surveillance video more than four years ago.
Cuyler Richard Aubichon, who is Indigenous, claims Const. Joshua Grafton and the RCMP were "reckless, arrogant, high-handed [and] abusive" with a "callous disregard" for Aubichon's well-being when he was arrested in an alleyway on a snowy night in 2016.
"Grafton acted with complete and deliberate indifference towards the Plaintiff," alleges a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday.
Grafton, along with two other RCMP constables, were criminally charged last month in connection with Aubichon's arrest in Prince George, B.C., on Feb. 18, 2016.
None of Aubichon's allegations has been proven. No response to the notice of claim has been filed.
Takedown caught on backyard camera
Video of Aubichon's arrest was captured by a backyard security camera. It shows the truck he was in boxed in by police, flood-lit by headlights of an RCMP cruiser.
The video then appears to show a man pulled from the truck by RCMP working with a police dog. After the man exits the truck, the dog lunges at him. An officer then appears to strike the man while he is on the ground.
WATCH: The arrest in Prince George, B.C., was captured on surveillance footage
In his lawsuit, Aubichon claims Grafton "encouraged" the dog to bite his arm. It also alleges Grafton allowed the dog to continue biting him once he was face-down on the ground.
"Grafton encouraged the dog to continue biting the plaintiff, even though Grafton could hear the Plaintiff screaming in agony and begging Grafton to stop the dog," the claim reads.
"Grafton's conduct ... was physically and psychologically abusive and repetitive in the extreme."
The notice said Grafton kicked Aubichon in the stomach and hit him with a police baton while he was laying on the ground, "semi-conscious."
Aubichon, then 22, claims to have suffered injuries to his face, leg, ribs, sternum, hand and the back of his head.
Aubichon claimed RCMP did not offer him medical assistance after taking him back to the RCMP detachment in Prince George. He said the incident caused physical, emotional and psychological trauma and left him "humiliated."
Police have previously said the case involved two suspects who were evading arrest in a stolen truck.
The same day the video was made public, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. sent investigators to Prince George, at the request of the RCMP.
Const. Joshua Grafton was charged in June with assault, assault with a weapon and obstruction of justice. Const. Wayne Connell and Const. Kyle Sharpe were charged with assault causing bodily harm.
The three officers are scheduled to appear in provincial court in Prince George on Aug. 12. As of June 8, the officers remained on active duty.
"The officers' fitness to continue to be on active duty has been assessed. We are confident they can continue their duties in a manner that is safe and meets public expectation," Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet told CBC News last month.
With files from Betsy Trumpener