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Mantler trial: Victim 'not as cooperative as he could have been.'

The observations of the other police officer present when Const. Geoff Mantler kicked Buddy Tavares in the head were the focus in court Tuesday afternoon as Mantler's assault causing bodily harm trial continued.

On Jan. 7, 2011, Kelowna RCMP Const. Robyn Boffy was responding to the report of shots fired at the Harvest Golf Club on by an ex-employee with a brain injury when she heard that Mantler had stopped the suspect's vehicle near where she was driving on KLO Road.

She stopped her police vehicle on the inside lane of KLO Road and went to the passenger side of the suspect's truck to check for passengers and whether a firearm was within reach as Mantler dealt with the driver, identified as Tavares.

"I just can't remember what he was saying, it was police-type things you'd say in an arrest," said Boffy of Mantler's interaction with Tavares.

She was unsure if Mantler knew she was there, so when she saw Tavares was getting out of the truck, she decided to go around the back to the driver's side to assist in the arrest.

While going around the truck, she can't remember if she heard Mantler giving Tavares commands, she testified.

As she rounded the truck, she spotted journalist Kelly Hayes videoing the scene and then saw Mantler, with his back to her, and part of Tavares.

She can't recall where Tavares' hands or feet were positioned, but "his head was facing downward because he received a kick to the face."

When asked if Tavares appeared to be cooperative in the incident, she said: "I was feeling he wasn't being as cooperative as he could have been."

Later, she was asked to categorize Tavares' actions based on a model police use to categorize suspect's level of compliance and the appropriate amount of force police can use when faced with each level of compliance or lack of compliance.

"You'd have to know what Const. Mantler was saying to know if he was non-cooperative," said Boffy. "...From just watching [Hayes'] video, he appears cooperative."

Boffy's testimony was continuing in the late afternoon Tuesday. Other officers who responded to the call are expected to testify Wednesday.

 

 

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