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Lawsuit filed against RCMP officer facing criminal charges

One of three Prince George RCMP officers facing criminal charges from an arrest caught on video that suggests excessive force was used is now also facing a civil lawsuit from one of the two men apprehended. Cst.
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One of three Prince George RCMP officers facing criminal charges from an arrest caught on video that suggests excessive force was used is now also facing a civil lawsuit from one of the two men apprehended.

Cst. Joshua Grafton is named as a defendant in a notice of claim filed Friday on behalf of Cuyler Richard Aubichon. The Attorney General of Canada and the B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General are also named as defendants.

Aubichon and Nathaniel Lazarus Basil were arrested during the early morning of Feb. 18, 2016 in an alley off the 2000 block of Oak Street when they were found in a stolen pickup truck.

A video from a security camera on a nearby home shows an RCMP officer using a service dog to pull Aubichon out of the truck and onto the ground before elbowing him in the head.

Aubichon is claiming Grafton is the dog handler and that he "deliberately misused the dog to terrify and caused severe bodily harm."

He says Grafton not only encouraged the dog to bite him on the arm while removing Aubichon from the truck but allowed the dog to continue biting him while he was face down on the ground. He also claims Grafton punched and elbowed him and kicked him in the stomach and used a baton on his head while he was on the ground.

Injuries Aubichon says he suffered include bite marks to his face and a hand, bruising over a forearm as well as his sternum, bleeding to the back of his head from the baton and unspecified injuries to his upper thigh and ribs.

Grafton has been charged with assault, assault with a weapon, and obstruction of justice and, in a separate information, Cst. Wayne Connell and Cst. Kyle Sharpe have been charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Three other officers were involved in the apprehension of Basil, who had got out on the other side of the truck. His arrest was largely out of the camera's view but it appeared one of the officers had stomped on him.

Aubichon and Basil were later sentenced from the incident to one year probation for possessing stolen property over $5,000.

Aubichon is seeking general and aggravated and punitive damages. The defendants - have not yet filed responses and the allegations have not yet been tested in court.