A file photo of an RCMP dog. (Campbell River RCMP photo)

A file photo of an RCMP dog. (Campbell River RCMP photo)

Lawsuit claims Kelowna man suffered ‘vicious’ attack by RCMP dog, handler

Fernando Verde claims he was resuscitated at the hospital and needed emergency surgery following the attack

A man who was taken to hospital in August after a run-in with a police dog is claiming he required emergency surgery as a result of the “vicious” attack, which is also being investigated by B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Fernando Verde says he was walking in Rutland on Aug. 1, when he spotted an e-bike that was recently stolen from his friend. Verde claims the bike was in the presence of a notorious Kelowna bike thief known as “Bike Mike.” Upon instruction from his friend, Verde hopped on the bike and rode away from the gas station.

Unbeknownst to him, he was being followed by RCMP.

Verde rode his bike towards the Okanagan Rail Trail, where he eventually came into contact with Const. Reginald Sahay and his RCMP canine.

READ MORE: BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

READ MORE: Charges recommended for Mountie investigated in Kelowna shooting

Verde alleges that as soon as Sahay saw him, he instructed the dog to attack him. The dog knocked Verde off the bike and once he hit the ground, the suit claims Sahay instructed the dog to continue the attack.

“While the dog was mauling the plaintiff, Sahay was punching and kicking the plaintiff in his head and ribs at the same time,” reads the suit.

Other officers arrived at the scene and despite what Verde claims were “obvious” injuries in need of dire medical attention, nobody called for an ambulance immediately.

Eventually, an ambulance was called and Verde was transported to Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). The suit claims he suffered multiple dog bites and lost a lot of blood as a result of the attack.

“The plaintiff’s injuries were so severe that he lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated at KGH and had emergency surgery to repair his left superficial femoral artery,” the suit claims.

“The plaintiff was kept at KGH for intravenous antibiotic therapy and aggressive wound care.”

Verde has a long criminal record related to property crime offences, but the suit claims he was not charged following this incident.

The suit names Sahay, an RCMP member solely identified as Const. Davidson who the suit alleges allowed the attack to happen by not intervening, the Attorney General of Canada and the B.C. Minister of Public Safety.

“Sahay’s actions were deliberate, flagrant and outrageous as he instructed the dog to attack and maul the plaintiff, while at the same time punching and kicking the plaintiff’s head and ribs,” the claim states.

“Davidson’s actions were intentional and calculated as she made no attempts to stop the dog or Sahay from continuing their assault on the plaintiff.”

None of the claims have been tested in court and none of the defendants have yet issued a response to the notice of claim.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

dog attackRCMP harassment lawsuit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last year’s session with the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at the Chemainus Legion Hall. (File photo by Don Bodger)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP want public input

In-person forums not being held this year

Surf scooter at Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Sylvie Newey photo)
Surf’s up!

Surf scoter scours the waters off Chemainus for food

North Cowichan council held its first meeting of 2021 on Jan. 20.
Firearms Discharge Bylaw amendments put on the backburner

Forestry review still needs to be completed before staff makes a recommendation to council

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms first death from COVID-19

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Most Read