A Hedley man was found guilty in Penticton court Friday of assaulting a Princeton police officer and causing bodily harm.
Bremner Lance, 41, will not learn his fate for at least two months, as the judge in the case has asked for a pre-sentence report.
Lance maintained he acted in self-defense when he attacked RCMP Constable Dean Oliver on September 16, 2016.
However eyewitness testimony and a dramatic video of the incident brought discredit to that story.
In the video – a copy of which was obtained by Black Press – Oliver is backpedaling as Lance runs at him at a considerable speed, taking him to the ground, while the person recording the video yells “Bremner, calm down.”
Cpl. Chad Parsons then runs in and appears to strike Lance, and begins to attempt to put him in handcuffs. Oliver is then able to get out from under Lance.
On that day Oliver was called to a dark-coloured GMC Jimmy doing burnouts in Hedley at 4:30 p.m. Upon arriving, Oliver discovered an unlocked, black pickup truck parked facing south in the northbound lane, with licence plates matching the description provided.
That licence plate, however, came back as matching another vehicle. When he looked inside the vehicle, Oliver spotted a six pack with three beers missing, and keys on the dashboard.
Oliver said the vehicle identification number on the window came back as registered to Lance, and he instructed Parsons to patrol the area. Oliver said he had grounds to arrest the driver under the motor vehicle act and called for a tow truck.
Oliver spotted Lance crossing the street nearby, and twice asked if he knew who the vehicle belonged to.
Bremner cursed at Oliver saying the police had “f***ed with his life too much,” according to Oliver, who said he opened the front door of the truck to create a barrier between them.
“His face was red, as a person would if they’re in a rage. Again, the yelling, the obscenities,” Oliver said under direct examination.
Oliver said he called for backup three times on the radio while he backed away from Lance, but got no response, due possibly to the area’s poor radio reception.
“At that point, I felt concern for my safety, and I tried to remove my OC spray, my pepper spray, without Mr. Lance noticing,” Oliver testified. “At that time, Mr. Lance said to me ‘if you spray me with that, you’re dead.’”
Oliver said Lance then charged at him and he used the pepper spray.
After the pepper spray made contact with Lance’s face, Oliver said Lance “football tackled” him, and he landed on his lower back, hitting the back of his head on the asphalt. That caused him to see stars, Oliver said, and the two grappled on
“We both got up. Mr. Lance threw a punch, hit me in the face. I again grappled with Mr. Lance as he was grappling with me. We went back to the ground, and I was concentrating on controlling his legs so he could not get up on me and gain control of me.”
As he tried to grapple with Lance, whom he described as being in “pure rage,” Oliver reported the defendant bit his right forearm, causing an open wound just before Parsons arrived.
“I could hear Cpl. Parsons saying ‘let him go, let him go,’” Oliver said, adding he was then able to get out from underneath Lance, who Oliver said struggled as handcuffs were placed on him.
A charge of uttering death threats, related to the incident, was dismissed Friday.
Lance next appears in court August 27.
With files from Dustin Godfrey.
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