Mantler's victim upset by police officer’s court absence

Buddy Tavares threw his hands in the air, as if to gesture “What?” as the lawyer for the police officer accused of assaulting him said he was still waiting for disclosure of evidence in the cases against Const. Geoffrey Mantler.

“We have yet to receive the disclosure,” said Neville McDougall on Tuesday, echoing what he said at Mantler’s first court appearance two weeks ago.

“What a joke,” said Tavares outside the courtroom after the brief court appearance, which Mantler, 28, did not attend.

(Mantler’s lawyer appeared as his agent, which is common practice for cases appearing in the justice of the peace court.)

“He doesn’t have the balls to show up to court,” said Tavares, who also missed seeing Mantler at his first court appearance when the cases were called early.

Tavares is vowing to be back at the courthouse in the hopes of having a “face to face instead of face to boot” meeting with the officer.

Mantler pulled Tavares, 51, over at gunpoint on Jan. 7 after a shots fired call to police from the Harvest Golf Club. During the arrest, caught on video by Castanet, Mantler kicked Tavares in the face while he was on his hands and knees.

Mantler was suspended with pay shortly after and was later charged with assault causing bodily harm after an Abbotsford Police investigation that involved detectives speaking with more than 40 witnesses.

Mantler is also charged with a second count of assault causing bodily harm related to an incident with Manjeet Singh Bhatti on Aug. 30, 2010.

Mantler’s cases are scheduled to be back in court on May 24, not long after another rally against police brutality is planned.

Darin Howard, who is involved with the Facebook page calling for Mantler to be fired and jailed, said a fourth rally will take place on the May long weekend in response to what he feels is the slow pace of progress on the cases.

“People have to start paying attention to what’s going on,” said Howard. “Get involved with the process and understand how to fix it.”

“We’re going to present some solutions,” he promised.


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