Assault charges approved against RCMP officers following Richmond arrest

THE BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) announced on Friday that charges of assault have been approved against two RCMP officers in connection with their involvement in the arrest of an individual suspected to be in possession of stolen property on October 10, 2019, in Richmond.

An information charging Constable Mathew McGuire and Constable John Tsonos with assault was sworn on March 12 under Richmond Provincial Court file number 65432-1. The first appearance on this matter is scheduled for April 19.

The charges were approved by an experienced Crown Counsel with no prior or current connection with the officers.

The RCMP said in a statement that on October 19, 2019, officers from the Surrey RCMP Auto Crime Target Team (ACTT) located a man allegedly driving a stolen vehicle in Surrey. The vehicle was ultimately stopped and the driver arrested in Richmond, with assistance from a Richmond RCMP officer. During the course of taking the man into custody the officers allegedly assaulted him.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the senior officers in charge of both the Surrey and Richmond RCMP detachments initiated Code of Conduct investigations and criminal investigations against the officers involved.

In 2020, the results of the criminal investigation were submitted to the BC Prosecution Service for charge assessment.

The RCMP said it could also confirm that Tsonos remains suspended with pay and McGuire is on administrative duties. Duty status for both police officers is continually assessed and the internal Code of Conduct investigations remain active and ongoing.