Kelowna RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in hotel death

Kelowna RCMP cleared in an IIO investigation

Kelowna RCMP members have been cleared of any wrongdoing related to the death of a Best Western guest.

The Independent Investigation Office looks into all incidents where an RCMP member is part of a death, and they determine whether an officer, through an action or inaction, may have committed any offence in relation to the incident.

Through the course of their investigation they determined that the man who fell to his death started running into trouble shortly after 3:43 p.m. Oct. 13 when he checked into a seventh-floor room at the Best Western Hotel.

“Sometime later, the guest in the room next to (the man) heard a man screaming at someone in the hallway,” reads the report from Ronald J. MacDonald, chief civilian director. “The guest heard a man calling someone a ‘bitch’ and then the sound of movement up and down the hallway.”

The strange behaviour was reported to the front desk and two hotel staff members went to see what was happening.

“They were advised that a battery charger had been thrown at a housekeeping staff member who was working on that floor,” according to the report.

When the senior staff member spoke with (the man), he was un-cooperative, swore and became combative and that’s when police were called.

Closed Circuit TV recordings show police officers beginning to arrive at 4:50 p.m. They knocked on the man’s door, called to him and eventually tried to enter with the key lock, only to learn that the swing lock had been engaged.

They then decided to get a bolt cutter and eventually were able to enter the room.

RELATED: RCMP INVESTIGATE AFTER FATAL FALL

Once they did, the room was empty and they found that the man had fallen to the ground below.

Five witnesses to the incident reported seeing the man trying to get from his balcony to another, unsuccessfully.

He eventually fell and the guests who witnessed the incident saw no one on the balcony.

On attending outside, the staff member saw the and checked for a pulse. The man still had a weak pulse but was not moving. 911 was called at 5:01 p.m. for medical first responders.

“In this case, it was not unreasonable for the front desk staff to call the police where that staff member could hear the man swearing at the staff,” reads the report.

“It was not unreasonable for the hotel staff to request the police to deal with the man, given that he had earlier thrown something at the housekeeping staff. Thus when the officers went to (the man’s) room they were acting under the authority of the Act.”

In the end, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO, did not consider that an Officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore, the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

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