Police back officers in recent arrest and takedown, mixed public reaction stemming from YouTube videosCrime, Sarnia — By Joe Burd on February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm
The headline coming away from Saturday's incident on Colborne Road south of Rosedale, in which police were in the area to execute a search warrant at an apartment complex, was not the dramatic incident itself as most would suspect. Instead, the public is more abuzz over an arrest made by officers who pulled a cyclist to the ground and arrested him for obstruction.
Sarnia’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), providing assistance to London Police on Feb. , were seeking a suspect in a London armed-robbery.
A section of the street was closed and cordoned off for hours while armed officers entered the residence, which turned out to be empty.
But the arrest that's stirring a public response happened about 45 minutes after police arrived. A 22-year-old bystander reportedly was detained after refusing to follow an officer’s repeated instruction to leave the area.
Two separate videos have surfaced on YouTube in the days since the incident, both from different perspectives, and both showing the man being dragged off his bike and cuffed.
On the video, you can audibly hear the bystander repeatedly ask why he was being arrested. When he's taken down off his bicycle he can be heard yelling, "I was going home."
Sarnia Police Service says all standard procedures were followed and stands with their officers.
Inspector Norm Hansen said that the arresting officer asked the man to leave three times and he refused, adding that nothing during the incident looked wrong to him, nor did he feel it was particularly violent.
The video shows that the confrontation, that begins at the 4:05 mark of the first video, shows the officer speaking to a man on a bicycle, appearing to ask him to leave several times, and then take out his handcuffs.
At the 4:19 mark, the officer grabs the collar of the man’s jacket and pulls him to the ground, where he is pinned, cuffed and arrested.
The man was charged with obstruction of police and breaching a court order not to consume alcohol. No breath test was administered, police said.
Hansen said the street needed to be cleared to protect public safety. ”We have firearms, they have firearms, we don’t want anyone to get hurt,” he was quoted saying.
Other residents in the neighborhood, some of who took video of the incident, said the police arrived on scene shortly after 8 a.m. with as many as eight police vehicles on the street.
Neighbours also said that suddenly, at one point, a loud bang was heard, possibly from a "flash bang grenade".
There was reportedly tension between police and residents attempting to get to their homes and police could be heard yelling and shouting profanities at civilians, insisting they stay away but without giving a reason, according to neighbours that lives across the street from the home being raided.