British Columbia

Kidnapping suspect hurt trying to escape from 11th floor Burnaby apartment, IIO investigating

The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia is investigating whether police actions are linked to an alleged kidnapper's injuries after the man attempted to flee over the 11th-floor balcony of a Burnaby apartment.

3 men are in police custody; victim was located unharmed police say

The 4900 block of Sanders Street, Burnaby, B.C. The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia is investigating police interaction with a suspect in an alleged kidnapping case, who was injured in a fall from an 11th floor balcony. (Google Street View)

A suspected kidnapper suffered serious injuries after trying to flee the scene of the alleged crime by escaping off the balcony of an 11th floor apartment in Burnaby.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is now reviewing police interaction with the man. 

The IIO is a civilian oversight agency that examines officer-related incidents resulting in death or serious harm.

RCMP said in a statement the incident happened just after 10 p.m. on July 4 at a residence in the 4900-block of Sanders Street where police believed a kidnapping victim was being held.

Victim safe

According to police, officers entered the 11th floor apartment and three men inside exited over the balcony. Two of the men were arrested without incident on lower floors of the building, but one man fell to ground and was injured.

The injured man remains in hospital. All three suspects are in police custody.

The Burnaby highrise where three men went over an 11th-floor balcony unsuccessfully trying to escape police. (CBC)

Police say the victim was safely located and physically unharmed. 

"The Burnaby RCMP will continue to investigate the alleged kidnapping concurrent to the IIO investigation," said Eric Stubbs, acting commanding officer for the B.C. RCMP, in a statement.

Everybody ran

Justin MacMurchy lives on the 9th floor of the building and said he was just coming home when "it all freaking happened."

"I walked in the door of my apartment and a flashbang went off," said MacMurchy, who then heard the fire alarm turn on and ran to his floor's emergency exit.

"Everybody ran ... there were about 40 people going down the stairs together," he said.

Police then told residents to return to their apartments and MacMurchy said officers and emergency personnel "were all over the yard after that."

IIO report date unknown

Ron MacDonald, chief civilian director of IIO, said it could take several weeks or even several months to determine if police actions were justified or constitute an offence.

If the police are found to have acted inappropriately, the matter will be referred to the Crown for charges. If the IIO finds the police did nothing wrong, a report of the incident will be made public.

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