A Ucluelet police officer is recovering after being attacked by a local youth.
The officer was taken to the Tofino hospital immediately after the incident to receive treatment, including stitches and remained off work, due to injuries, at press time.
The events leading up to the attack began as a routine report of an intoxicated male youth in Ucluelet’s downtown on Feb. 22 around 6 p.m.
The officer arrived at the scene, confirmed the youth was intoxicated and, after attempts to reach the youth’s parents went unanswered, transported the youth to the police detachment’s cells to sober up, according to Sgt. Jeff Swann of the Ucluelet RCMP.
“While booking the individual into the cell block, the youth attacked the police officer in a very violent and dangerous fashion,” Swann said.
“It was very disturbing and very disheartening to see something happen to this magnitude. The officer acted with complete professionalism throughout the encounter and ultimately they were the only one that suffered any injuries,” Swann said.
He said the fight lasted several minutes before the officer was able to place the youth in handcuffs.
He said the youth did not sustain any significant injuries and was transported to Port Alberni the following day where he remained in custody at press time.
Swann said the detachment’s surveillance cameras recorded the attack and the youth is facing “extremely serious” charges.
“This was a police officer doing their job very politely, very respectfully; looking after all the needs of this youth and when the officer turned their back to him, they were attacked and choked violently and viciously,” Swann said.
“It was sickening to see and I was so glad that it was all caught on the videotape because then there’s no questions; there’s no issues.”
Swann said he has never seen anything like this happen in his six years in Ucluelet and suggested it’s all the more disappointing due to the solid track record of local youth who rarely cause problems for police.
“This is a very significant file, it’s very serious, and for a youth from our community it’s disheartening to have that happen,” he said.
“We’re also feeling for this youth. We’re all one big community here and, yes we’re looking out for the police officer, but we’re also looking out for this youth’s needs and making sure that they get some treatment.”
He said there is no timeline for the officer’s return to work.