Whether or not a Prince George RCMP member used the appropriate level of force is now before the courts.
Judge Brian Daley is presiding over a scheduled three-day trial that began Wednesday for Const. Chad Fitzpatrick.
During opening statements, Crown counsel Jennifer Johnston described how Fitzpatrick was one of a contingent of Mounties called to the Spruce Capital Seniors Housing Complex on the night of Nov. 17, 2010. They were summoned by a 911 call made by staff at the facility.
The court heard that one of the residents of the facility had an outburst and, having made threat-like statements, went to his room. The staff went into the room as well and the argument escalated into more verbal threats, a shove, and the resident pulling a knife in a threatening manner.
The staff members retreated, closed the door, guarded the door, and alerted police.
Police attended and took the resident into custody against his will. During that arrest, the Crown alleged, Const. Fitzpatrick chose to use a conducted energy weapon to physically incapacitate the angry resident. It was alleged by Crown that his actions amounted to excessive force.
Fitzpatrick is now charged with assault with a weapon. He is represented at trial by Prince George lawyer Brian Gilson.