Assault charge laid against Comox Valley RCMP officer

BC Prosecution Service approved assault charge against Const. Geory Penner

A Comox Valley RCMP officer is facing a single count of assault stemming from an incident during a traffic stop in Comox in November 2017.

The BC Prosecution Service announced Monday the charge has been approved against Const. Geory Penner. The charge was sworn on May 4, and the first appearance on this matter will be on May 31 in Courtenay Provincial Court.

Last month, a notice of civil claim was brought forth to the Supreme Court in Victoria by Richard Neary, lawyer for Oliver Cosette, against the B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Attorney General and Const. Penner.

Cosette is seeking general damages, special damages, damages pursuant to the section 24(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, interest, costs of the action and any further relief as the court may see fit following an alleged assault.

During a traffic stop, Cosette claims in the notice he activated a recording device for audio and a verbal confrontation with Penner followed.

The constable allegedly then pulled Cosette to the ground and told him he was under arrest for obstruction. Cosette stated the constable was choking him. Penner then continued to talk to him while pulling his sweater tight around his neck, and said, “you’re choking me out sir.”

The notice alleges Penner responded, “go out, pretty princess. It’s that time.” Cosette was then pulled to his feet and placed in the back seat of an RCMP cruiser.

The civil suit is independent of the criminal charges.

Neary said in an email to The Record Cosette made a complaint at the Comox Valley detachment the day of the incident. He confirmed the investigation that led to the charge recently approved was triggered by his client’s initial complaint.

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