The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIOBC) is investigating after a man died in police custody Sunday evening on the Mary Hill Bypass.
According to a press release, members of the Coquitlam RCMP Traffic Unit were working laser enforcement in the area when a man ran out of a wooded area and was almost struck by a vehicle.
"[The officer] activated his emergency lights, drove in the man's direction and reportedly saw him attempt to open doors of running vehicles," RCMP E Division (provincial headquarters) said in a statement. "The man entered the rear seat of a vehicle and the officer placed him under arrest. He then became unresponsive."
According to the RCMP, the officer provided medical assistance until paramedics arrived but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The E Division release said police believe the man was the same suspect they had inquired about at a home in the area earlier in the evening who had multiple warrants for his arrest. In a seperate press release, IIO BC confirmed they are looking into the matter.
The incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. and led to the closure of the bypass for more than five hours between Shaughnessy Street and Pitt River Road.
"The IIOBC is now investigating to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the man's death," E Division said in a media release. "As the matter is now under investigation by the IIOBC, no further information will be released by police."