An RCMP cruiser struck an armed man twice during an arrest south of Edmonton Friday morning.
Mounties were called to Highway 2A, approximately two kilometres south of Wetaskiwin, after a man was seen walking with a firearm at 11:45 a.m.
“As the suspect was not following police verbal commands to drop the firearm, for public and police safety, a police vehicle was used to disarm the male,” said Chief Supt. Darcy Fleury, the officer in charge of RCMP’s Central Alberta District.
Fleury explained that other ways to disarm him, such as pepper spray or a baton, would not have worked “due to the angle of approach to the subject.”
In the video, officers can be heard shouting, “Drop it, drop the gun, drop the gun,” as they trail him.
“The male is knocked to the ground but immediately gets up, and continues walking southbound with a firearm. The vehicle now approaches the male with the intent to bump him again, making sure he’s lined up so the man doesn’t fall under the wheels. This is a controlled-bumping technique to disarm the suspect.
“It’s not a common practice, but it is one of those instances where you have an intervention tool of opportunity and given the situation, the members…chose to use it. It’s not a common practice.”
The 35-year-old man was arrested and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, RCMP said.
Officers were not injured during the arrest.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team will not investigate the incident. It was reported to the Director of Law Enforcement of Alberta, and RCMP will conduct an internal review process.
Southbound traffic on Highway 2A near Wetaskiwin is being diverted and police ask drivers to avoid the area and use alternate routes.
‘IT WAS BRUTAL’
Ken Croxall, the man who recorded the video, was in the area because his son needed to get a rapid COVID-19 test in Maskwacis.
“First thing on my mind was, I’ve got my 17-year-old son beside me,” Croxall told CTV News Edmonton. “Is this guy going to start taking pot shots at me if I hang around too long?”
Croxall said some vehicles turned around and took off in the opposite direction, but he decided to hang tight and take video of the arrest.
“It was brutal,” he said.
“I think he’s very lucky he never got shot. I thought the video was going to come out a different way.”
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