Three Richmond citizens were honoured yesterday for their brave actions in helping Richmond RCMP catch a violent suspect and tending to an injured officer.
Construction site workers Stephen Baskerville, Tracey Hill and Margaret Woodcock were joined by friends, family, Richmond RCMP Chief Supt. Dave Chauhan and a handful of officers at the Richmond detachment on Jan. 25 for the award presentation.
The three civilians jumped in to help an injured Richmond RCMP officer and catch a suspect while officers were working on a stolen property case.
On Feb. 17, 2022, four suspects, three male and one female, were confronted by staff at the Hampton Inn on Bridgeport Road for fraudulent use of a credit card. The four individuals then fled the hotel.
Richmond RCMP was called to the hotel and identified three of the four suspects through video surveillance. Two male and one female suspects were recognized by two officers patrolling the area near Sexsmith Road and Douglas Street.
The female and one male were arrested for stolen property, but a second male suspect fled on foot.
A Richmond RCMP officer chased the individual, which led to an altercation between the two in which the officer was repeatedly struck in the head. The suspect then removed the officer’s collapsible baton from his holster and struck the officer with the baton, which “rendered the officer unconscious” and ran away.
Civilian witness Hill, who was a construction flagger nearby, witnessed the entire altercation and was telling fellow coworkers on-site what was happening and where the suspect ran.
“I couldn’t run and jump in and save him because I probably wouldn’t have turned out okay,” said Hill.
Construction site flagger Woodcock directed their site supervisor Baskerville to a business plaza on Capstan Way where the suspect entered a restaurant.
The suspect who assaulted the police officer has been charged with numerous offences, according to Richmond RCMP.
He has been charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon, disarming a police officer, wilfully resisting or obstructing an officer and failing to comply with a bail release order.
Baskerville told the Richmond News that he had to quickly take action after hearing about the altercation over the work radio.
“To hear an officer has been hit, I just needed to find out what's going on and do whatever I could do,” said Baskerville, explaining “it was all instinct to help.”
He held down the suspect in the business plaza until police officers arrived.
When asked if he was scared, Baskerville said the adrenaline was there to suppress the fear and “just did what he did without knowing what he was doing.”
Hill told the News that she never expected to be honoured like this.
“To me, my honour and reward was when they told me he (the officer) was going to be okay. That was the biggest reward,” she said.
“I just did what I needed to do, and I’m glad that I did,” she added.
The three civilians were presented a certificate of appreciation, a Richmond RCMP challenge coin and an RCMP officer-in-charge accommodation letter by Chief Supt. Chauhan.
“I want to personally thank these civilians for rendering assistance to our injured officer, and for helping to ensure the suspect involved was quickly located and taken into custody,” said Chauhan.
“The quick interaction and actions of (these) folks are commendable.”