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RCMP's side of story outlined in response to lawsuit over takedown

The actions of a Prince George RCMP officer facing criminal charges from an arrest caught on video were "reasonable and necessary" according to a response to a civil lawsuit brought against him by one of the men who was apprehended. Cst.
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The actions of a Prince George RCMP officer facing criminal charges from an arrest caught on video were "reasonable and necessary" according to a response to a civil lawsuit brought against him by one of the men who was apprehended.

Cst. Joshua Grafton's side of the story about the arrest of Cuyler Richard Aubichon and Nathaniel Lazarus Basil during the early morning of Feb. 18, 2016 have been outlined in a response filed on Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.

In July, a lawsuit against Grafton, as well as Attorney General of Canada and the B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, was filed on behalf of Aubichon seeking damages for injuries suffered in the arrest after they were caught in a stolen pickup truck.

According to the response, police had trapped the truck in an alley. While Basil complied with police instructions, Aubichon did not and instead reversed the truck then drove it forward until it collided with an RCMP vehicle, forcing an officer to jump out of the way.

Grafton and the dog approached the truck on foot, opened the driver's side door and advised Aubichon that he was under arrest. Having seen the collision and concerned Aubichon was attempting to evade arrest, Grafton used the dog to extract him from the truck.

The dog took hold of Aubichon's left arm and pulled him out and towards Grafton. In the course of being removed, Aubichon fought with the dog, according to the response, until another officer told him to stop resisting. At that point, the dog released its hold and Aubichon was handcuffed as he was lying prone on the ground.

Aubichon is claiming Grafton "deliberately misused the dog to terrify and caused severe bodily harm" and allowed the dog to continue biting him while he was face down on the ground. Aubichon 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.

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

The entire event was caught on video and prompted B.C.'s civilian-based police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, to launch an investigation.

Grafton has since 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.

The allegation in both the civil action and the criminal cases have not yet been tested in court.