On Saturday, April 21, shortly after 11 am, The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP responded to a call of a man who was reportedly passed out in a public area of downtown Duncan. Prior to police arrival, the man had walked away from the original location, after declining assistance from the British Columbia Ambulance Service.
Officers patrolled that area and located the man a short distance away. The man was arrested without incident for causing a disturbance. He was transported to the North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment where he was lodged in cells, slated for release once sober. The man was cooperative with police throughout his arrest and time in custody.
At approximately 2 p.m. on April 21st, the man was found to be in medical distress by the on-duty guard.
BC Ambulance Service was called to the Detachment, and transported the man to Cowichan District Hospital for medical treatment. He was later transferred to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. Shortly before noon on April 22nd, the man passed away in hospital. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
In keeping with the RCMP’s commitment to external review of such cases, the Oak Bay Police Service will conduct a review of the circumstances related to this death.
The BC Coroners Service are also conducting an investigation, standard in cases where a death occurs in close proximity to a period of police custody.
Family of the deceased, a 37 year old Duncan resident, have been notified of his passing. His identity will not be released at this time.
Oak Bay Police Department investigators will be travelling to Duncan today to commence their review.
M. Fisher, Chief Constable