After an internal investigation, former Lillooet RCMP Cst. Dan St. Amand is facing four more charges of assault with a weapon. The Crown counsel's office in Kamloops told the News the charges were laid in connection with an incident that occurred Oct. 29, 2001. RCMP received a complaint from a member of the public about the 2001 incident on Mar. 1 of this year.
The four charges follow an earlier decision to charge St. Amand with one count of assault with a weapon in connection with a drug raid in Lillooet on Feb. 5 of this year. In that incident, Micheline deStrake, 19, claimed she was Tasered for no reason during a drug raid at her apartment at 341 Main Street.
No drug-related charges were ever laid in connection with that raid, even though police reported finding trace amounts of cocaine on a scale, plus four ecstasy pills in a coat and a bag of marijuana in deStrake's home.
St. Amand was scheduled to appear in court here this week for an arraignment in connection with the earlier charge. He makes his first appearance on the four additional assault counts in Lillooet Provincial Court on Dec. 5. The two cases are not related.
After the Mar. 1 complaint was filed, "an internal investigation was immediately started at the detachment and completed by the South East District Internal Affairs Unit," said Cst. Heather Macdonald, the media relations officer for the Southeast District in Kelowna.
"As the matter is now before the courts, no further information is being released," she said in a Nov. 1 news release.
St. Amand, who was transferred to Salmon Arm this spring, is on administrative duty there.
After deStrake and others attending the Feb. 5 party complained about St. Amand using excessive force, other Lillooet residents came forward with complaints about the Mountie.
Aaron Parnell said he was beaten and arrested by St. Amand and an auxiliary constable at a beach party on the banks of the Fraser River three years ago.
When St. Amand and the auxiliary appeared at the party, Parnell, who was the designated driver for the night, decided to stay at the scene rather than run away with his friends.
He regrets that decision.
Parnell said he was "severely, severely beaten.
"I believe they fractured one of my ribs, a black eye, bruises across my back, choke marks across my neck," he told the CBC in February.
Parnell said that when he tried to file a complaint at the Lillooet RCMP detachment, he was told he had no case and that St. Amand was justified to use the force he used.
A local woman also claimed she was assaulted twice by St. Amand, during two separate arrests.
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