Three Ladysmith officers injured during arrest

Three RCMP officers were injured, including one who required surgery, as they arrested a man and woman for shoplifting at a gas station north of Ladysmith last Thursday.

Shortly after 2:30 that afternoon, four officers from the Ladysmith detachment responded to a call from the Husky gas station – the third complaint in a two-hour span – about the couple being intoxicated in public and shoplifting. Although the woman was taken into custody, the man fled the scene on foot.

One officer chased the man, and ended up separated from his colleagues in a wooded area behind the gas station. Police say that when he caught up to the suspect and tried to arrest him, the suspect repeatedly punched the officer in his head and face.

The officer was able to take the man down to the ground and restrain him until the help arrived. While handcuffing the suspect, two other officers also sustained minor injuries.

"This incident highlights the unpredictable nature of the work our officers do every day in communities across Vancouver Island," said Chief Superintendent Ray Bernoties, Commander of the RCMP on Vancouver Island. "I commend these officers for their perseverance in arresting this suspect, despite the obvious risk they faced."

The arresting officer was taken to hospital in Nanaimo and underwent surgery for facial injuries. He was expected to be off duty for about 10 days. The other officers were back on duty the following day.

The male suspect, who did not require any medical treatment, was remanded into custody, and is now facing charges of assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm and other related criminal charges.