Shuswap man who pleaded guilty to head-butting an RCMP officer in January 2020 will spend 18 months on probation. (Black Press file photo)

Shuswap man who head-butted RCMP officer must apologize

Judge congratulates accused on his new-found sobriety

  • Aug. 27, 2020 3:30 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

A Shuswap man who violently head-butted an RCMP constable while being arrested in January has avoided jail.

Instead, Bradley Brian Ruppel will spend 18 months on probation with an order requiring him to apologize to the Mountie, who was left with a bloody mouth and a chipped tooth.

Ruppel, 36, came to the attention of police on Jan. 23 after threatening to kill an employee at a Sorrento motel. When RCMP officers tried to track him down, they found him asleep inside his home nearby.

Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo said Mounties broke into Ruppel’s house under the belief he may be suffering an overdose. When Ruppel woke up, court heard, he was confrontational and became involved in a struggle with the officers.

“He was eventually subdued and placed into handcuffs,” Caputo said.

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The struggle continued as Mounties tried to get Ruppel out of the house.

“As this is going on, he slammed his head down on the constable’s face with a head butt,” Caputo said.

Caputo said such an assault would usually garner jail time, but Ruppel deserved a break because of his early guilty plea and the fact Mounties entered his house without a warrant — which would have been an issue at trial.

Defence lawyer Brad Smith said Ruppel has struggled with alcohol, but has been sober since the night of the altercation with police.

“He’s done it all on his own,” he said.

Ruppel apologized in court.

“It’s not going to happen again, I can guarantee that,” he said.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Chris Cleaveley congratulated Ruppel on his new-found sobriety and wished him continued success.

Terms of Ruppel’s sentence will require him to stay away from liquor stores and complete counselling as directed by his probation officer.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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