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Arrested man was resisting officers, public hearing told

Jun 28 2012

A nightclub manager who witnessed two Victoria police constables forcibly arrest a man after a brawl testified Wednesday that the man appeared to be resisting arrest.

Danny Harlow said he stood by in case the officers who were arresting Tyler Archer needed help.

Harlow, who manages the Social Club, which fronts onto Store Street, said he went out of the bar about 12: 30 a.m. on March 21, 2010, after a large fight that left one man unconscious on the sidewalk and police scrambling to arrest those responsible.

He was testifying on the third day of a public hearing into the force used by constables Chris Bowser and Brendan Robinson when arresting Archer, then 20.

Harlow said he was about five feet away when he saw Bowser kick Harpinder Kang in the ribs as reserve constables struggled to arrest him. Bowser and Robinson then switched their attention to Archer, who was standing on a grassy median. Bowser told Archer twice to get down on the ground and Archer sat, then was pushed over by Robinson and got on all fours as the two officers tried to handcuff him.

"His hands were going behind his back right away, they were wrestling around with him a little bit," he said.

"Tyler Archer is a really big fellow, so I just wanted to make sure [Robinson] was going to be alright," said Harlow, who was trained as a hospital security guard.

Harlow described Archer as six-foot-four, about 230 pounds and very muscular, having played for the Junior Shamrocks lacrosse team.

Archer was known as an enforcer on the team, frequently fighting on the field, Harlow said.

He described Archer as a "s---disturber" in a statement to Vancouver police, who investigated the Victoria officers' conduct, and testified that he had kicked Archer out of the Social Club once before for being too intoxicated.

At least two people outside the nightclub told him Archer was responsible for attacking the man lying on the ground, Ryan Friesen, Harlow said.

Police were concerned that Friesen had a serious head injury since he was unconscious. But he was quickly released after being treated at a hospital.

No one was charged over the assault due to lack of evidence and the fact that many witnesses were uncooperative or intoxicated.

David Butcher, Robinson's lawyer, read out a statement made by Harlow on March 27, 2010, to Vancouver police, in which Harlow described his interaction with Archer after the arrest.

Harlow said Archer was sitting on the ground, handcuffed, yelling that he had been roughed up by police.

According to the police statement, Harlow said to Archer: "Man, you were resisting arrest, I saw you. All you had to do is sit down and put your hands behind your back. It makes things so much easier."

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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