The mother of a 15-year-old boy bitten in the back and head by a police dog during an arrest in Burnaby’s Brentwood area Wednesday says her son hadn’t been involved in the initial police incident.
Burnaby RCMP said they got reports just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday of an argument between a group of teen boys and staff at a fast food restaurant by Willingdon Avenue and Buchanan Street.
(A Subway restaurant is the only fast-food place on the corner.)
One of the teens reportedly brandished bear spray during the incident.
Police said most of the suspects stayed put when police arrived, but one suspect fled.
He was later arrested and “sustained minor injuries, believed to be scratches, from a police dog,” according to police.
But the boy’s mother, who did not want her name published, told the NOW her son’s injuries were more serious and her son and his friends hadn’t been at the Subway during the initial incident.
Her son told her there had been two groups of teens, one at the Subway and another that her son was part of just outside the entrance to Brentwood mall across Willingdon Avenue.
When police arrived, officers began detaining both sets of teens for questioning, her son told her.
“My son got scared and ran off,” said the woman. “He thought he was going to get in trouble from me.”
The 15-year-old hid behind a garbage can at the Carter GM car dealership south of Lougheed Highway, where police found him and arrested him, according to the woman.
She said five officers and a police dog held her son to the ground, with the police dog biting him on the back and head.
“It was totally excessive,” she said.
When asked about the woman’s concerns, Burnaby RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Kalanj told the NOW it is still early in the investigation.
“Police are in the process of gathering evidence,” he said in an emailed statement. “When we take on any investigation, we attempt to speak to everyone involved. Witness and victim statements are part of an investigation, but we give every suspect the opportunity to speak with investigators. We also collect any surveillance available in the area. These steps are all being undertaken now.”