B.C. student dies after release from police custody

By Motorhead · Feb 27, 2010 · ·
  1. Motorhead
    B.C. student dies after release from police custody

    20-year-old arrested in Whistler for being drunk; Vancouver police investigating his death

    On Tuesday, he was drinking in the Olympic party town of Whistler. Friday, he was dead.

    Vancouver police are trying to piece together exactly what led to the mysterious death of a 20-year-old University of British Columbia student who had been arrested for being drunk, fell in police custody and was found unconscious in a residence room early Friday.

    He died in hospital Friday afternoon.

    While on a trip to Whistler, the man, whose name has not been released, was arrested for public intoxication by RCMP officers just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Vancouver police Constable Jana McGuinness said.

    “While in the cells, he fell several times,” she said. He was released at 3:30 a.m. the next morning and made his way back to Vancouver.

    On Friday morning – 23 hours after leaving the Whistler jail cell – friends found him dead in a UBC residence room. They called 911 and he was rushed to hospital.

    “Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., very sadly, he died,” Const. McGuinness said.

    The case was originally handled by the RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service, but was turned over to the Vancouver Police after the man went to hospital. New police legislation advises police services to have a third party investigate when someone is injured or dies in their custody.

    An autopsy will determine the cause of death and the student’s name will not be released in the meantime, she said.

    Feb. 27, 2010
    Sarah Boesveld
    The Globe And Mail


  1. Snouter Fancier
    Probably because of incidents like this, in the US there has been an increasing trend for police to simply drag intoxicated persons to the ER, and let the medical system watch over them until they're sober. It's definitely safer than throwing them into the drunk tank until a police sargent with unknown medical skills decides it's safe to release them, but it also represents a new burden on the health care system.
  2. Motorhead
    The time frames in this report just dont add up. If he was released 3:30 am Wednesday morning and found dead even at 12:01 am Friday morning, that is longer than 23 hours.

    And then this statement:

    He was found dead friday morning, then he died friday afternoon?

    This wasn't exactly front page news, and I cant find a follow up story this morning. The autopsy results may give us more insight. This could be a sad accident or a massive cover-up.
  3. Motorhead
    Vancouver police set to probe student's death

    Man was released from RCMP custody just two days before

    Vancouver police have taken on the investigation into the death of a 20-year-old University of British Columbia student who died two days after being released from the custody of the Whistler detachment of the RCMP.

    Police are declining to identify the man, but CTV said he was Silas Rogers, a third-year student in the faculty of arts who was originally from New Brunswick.

    Police say Mr. Rogers was arrested on Feb. 23 for being intoxicated in a public place, and that he fell several times while held by the RCMP, according to a Vancouver police statement.

    He was released at 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 24 and died the next day after being found unconscious in his residence at the main campus of UBC.

    “We're looking at that timeline of when he was arrested right through the time he was in custody to the point where he was found unconscious and taken to hospital,” said Constable Jana McGuinness, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department.

    “That's a three-and-a-half, almost four-day window there, so we will go back and look at all the events.”

    The RCMP's Lower Mainland division asked the Vancouver police to take on the case in line with a recently announced policy to subject the national force to the scrutiny of outside investigators in such cases.

    “Because he was in custody, we're going back at their request to look at all the activities and events surrounding him, about his whereabouts, what was he doing.

    “That includes the time in custody, and we will go from there.”

    Constable McGuinness declined to comment on any other aspects of the case, including any contact with Mr. Rogers's family.

    The president of the Alma Mater Society, the student union at the university, said the organization would be monitoring developments in the matter.

    “Obviously, any time that a tragedy happens to a UBC student, AMS becomes concerned,” Bijan Ahmadian said in a brief e-mail to The Globe and Mail.

    Feb. 28, 2010
    Ian Baily
    The Globe And Mail
  4. EscapeDummy
    Swim got so drunk a few weeks ago that he blacked out and woke up the next morning with no memory of how he got his fractured tailbone. His friends told him he was falling all over the place, including once down the stairs and were worried for his safety at some points. perhaps this poor guy fell the wrong way and hit his head in the drunk tank...?

    edit: the gravity of what swim suggested just hit him. it's pretty terrifiying, one wrong fall while drunk and a swimmer could end up worse than swim did, broken bones, paralyzed, dead...
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