A women is claiming to have been assaulted by the chief of police in Revelstoke, however only after she repeatedly failed to stop when ordered to for not wearing a bicycle helmet.
Julie Gamache says she was nearly twice run-over and later tackled and choked by RCMP Staff-Sgt. Jacquie Olsen in an incident last Thursday.
However, the altercation took place after Gamache ignored repeated orders to stop for not wearing a bicycle helmet and also gave Olsen the finger, according to one witness.
Gamache said she was on her way downtown when she was asked to stop. When she didn’t, Olsen yelled at her again, this time cursing. Gamache said she didn’t like the way she was asked to stop, so she kept going downtown, along Mackenzie Avenue, west of First Street, and then towards the RCMP detachment.
She said Olsen twice tried to ram her with her vehicle. When she finally did stop at Campbell Avenue and Second Street, she was tackled, thrown against the police cruiser, handcuffed and alleges she was choked.
“I was really surprised and confused the police officer was arresting me like that,” said Gamache.
The incident attracted a crowd of people, including Mel Martens, who saw part of the chase and saw Olsen put Gamache in a chokehold.
Kristine Howe witnessed Olsen trying to knock Gamache off her bike. She said Gamache was “being an idiot but so was our sergeant.”
She said the cyclist turned through the crosswalks at First Street and Connaught Avenue, when Olsen ran at her in her SUV and tried to force her out of the crosswalk.
Howe said Gamache was calm and smiling while Olsen was yelling at her. Gamache continued south along Connaught and Olsen ran at her again near the alley behind Frisby Ridge.
“She was driving wrecklessly and doing stupid tactical meanouvers at a cyclist,” said Howe. “My issue is the cop ended up endangering us and endangering the women without a helmet.”
Sgt. Kim Hall of the Revelstoke RCMP said on Friday that no complaint of an assault had been received at the office.
“Staff-Sgt. Olsen was dealing with a bicyclist who was riding on the sidewalk, no bike helmet and the failed to signal,” said Sgt. Hall. “She was directed to stop by Staff Sgt. Olsen and refused to do so and was taken into custody.”
Gamache said she received a $29 ticket for not wearing a helmet and that she planned on making a formal complaint with the Commission for the Complaints Against the RCMP, an independent government agency that deals with complaints of misconduct by RCMP officers.