RCMP use vehicle to knock down armed man south of Wetaskiwin
Incident captured on video shows RCMP vehicle running into the man twice
RCMP in Wetaskiwin used a police vehicle to hit and subdue an armed man walking along Highway 2A around noon Friday.
RCMP responded to a call at around 11:45 a.m. about a man with a firearm walking along the highway, police said in a news release Friday.
Ty Hunt was heading north to Wetaskiwin on his motorcycle when he drove into heavy traffic paused at the police presence.
"They hit him with the truck the first time," he said, thinking, "Man, that's pretty brutal."
Hunt started taking video of the man walking south on the side of the highway, with something in his hand.
"You can hear the cops, they told him they wanted him to put it down," Hunt told CBC News in an interview Friday evening.
"It's like he wasn't comprehending what the cops were saying," he said. "He didn't run away, he wasn't trying to get away from the cops."
Hunt captures the man getting up and continuing to walk in the same direction with no sign of violence or threat.
"And then the cops hit him with a second, a second shot. It was pretty brutal to be there," Hunt said.
In the news release, RCMP said the suspect didn't follow police commands to drop the firearm.
"For public and police safety, a police vehicle was used to disarm the male," the statement says.
At a news conference Friday evening, RCMP Chief Supt. Darcy Fleury, said the police would not say what kind of firearm it was.
RCMP said they took the man, 35, into custody. RCMP said Tuesday the man was taken to hospital for treatment but he attempted to escape and was combative toward officers. The man is facing five charges:
- Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
- Assault with a weapon
- Obstructing a Peace Officer
- Assault Peace Officer
- Unlawfully at large
Luci Johnston was driving into Wetaskiwin over the lunch hour when traffic slowed down and she saw the man on the ground, on his stomach, handcuffed.
"He wasn't moving, he was on the ground," she said. "I told my daughter, I think he's deceased, you know?"
Johnson, a court worker in Maskwacis, is by coincidence, acquainted with the man and his family.
Out of privacy, she didn't want to reveal the man's name.
"This is very traumatic," she said. "Like, how do you explain something like this to his daughters? How do you explain something like this to our community?"
Wetaskiwin RCMP said they continue to investigate the incident with the help of an RCMP collision reconstructionist.