Five members of the Port Alberni RCMP detachment have been honoured for their bravery dealing with a man in a drug-induced psychosis last December.
On Dec. 18, 2017, Constables Brian Kenny, Darren Pinto, Beth O’Connor and Darryl Yacboski, and Cpl. Jason Racz were faced with a “violent deranged male” who had broken into a residence, brandishing a knife, Port Alberni RCMP Insp. Brian Hunter said.
As soon as the police arrived the man stabbed himself, causing arterial bleeding. He then tried to evade police. The male dropped the knife and became combative with the members who were trying to arrest him and stop the profuse bleeding.
“Once the man was apprehended the members worked quickly alongside BC Ambulance personnel to slow the bleeding and keep control of the man until he received medical attention,” Cpl. Amelia Hayden said.
The five officers received the Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery at the RCMP Island District Awards and Recognition Ceremony held Nov. 8 in Courtenay. The ceremony is a long-standing tradition of recognizing members with long service awards as well as Police Exemplary Service awards.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our members who put their lives on the line to save the life of another,” Hunter said. “Some of our members were hurt during the melee. The members are very deserving of this prestigious award.
“Although the members feel that they were just doing their job, I have to disagree,” Hunter added. “They went above and beyond, sacrificing their own well-being for the needs of others.”
Hunter said he couldn’t give anymore details about the case, including the man’s name, as the matter is still before the courts. The person involved in the incident was charged with obstructing a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon.
Hunter also received an award at the district recognition ceremony: the District Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Port Alberni RCMP for the work done to evacuate residents as part of a tsunami warning response on Jan. 23, 2018.
Three officers also received their 30-year Long Service Awards. Sergeant Dave Boyce, Cpl. Amelia Hayden and Cpl. Brady Mathison were all honoured for serving with the RCMP for 30 years.