Vancouver police officer injured in COVID-19 mask dispute with male suspect at law courts

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      January 25 marked one year since Canada had its first COVID-19 case.

      Yet despite the length of the pandemic, Vancouver has continued to witness examples of resistance to and defiance of health measures.

      In the latest incident, the Vancouver Police Department stated today (January 27) that a male suspect without a mask entered the Vancouver Law Courts in Downtown Vancouver on January 26. Provincial health orders require all individuals to wear masks in indoor public spaces in B.C.

      When an on-duty sheriff asked him to wear a mask, the man allegedly refused to do so. In addition, he refused to leave the building.

      When two Vancouver police officers in the building were alerted about the man’s behaviour, they informed him about the mask policy.

      However, the suspect became argumentative and physically aggressive with the officers. He allegedly kicked one of the officers and attempted to reach for his firearm.

      When officers attempted to take the man into custody, he fell on one of the officers and broke the officer’s leg.

      The officer was taken to hospital and released yesterday, but may remain off duty for several months.

      Police issued a $230 violation fine to the 53-year-old male suspect from Vancouver for failing to wear a mask in an indoor public space.

      In addition, police are recommending charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, assault on a peace officer, and disarming a peace officer.

      In other recent examples of health violations, Vancouver police released images and video on January 22 of a male suspect who allegedly assaulted a store manager at a 7-Eleven in the Kitsilano and Point Grey area on December 17.

      Vancouver police issued $2,500 in fines to man holding a makeshift nightclub in his Downtown Vancouver condo on January 23. Prior to that, police fined a man for holding a late-night gathering at a business in West Vancouver.

      Meanwhile, front-line nurses are requesting health authorities and police to take action and issue fines to organizers of weekly antimask protests held in Vancouver. In early January, Kelowna RCMP issued its second fine to an antimask rally organizer.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.