A chronic alcoholic paid "a dear price" for resisting a Merritt RCMP officer's attempt to take him into custody, a defence lawyer told a judge Tuesday.
James Isaac, 47, was arrested around 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 for being intoxicated in public after he showed up in the lobby of the Merritt probation office for an appointment too drunk to stand.
When Const. Justin Mosher arrived, however, Isaac was on his feet, although he was shaky, stumbling and slurring his speech, prosecutor Will Burrows told a Kamloops provincial court judge.
The Crown lawyer said when told he was under arrest, Isaac pulled his arm away from the officer and clenched his fists aggressively.
Const. Mosher applied a physical control, soft takedown, Burrows said, tripping Isaac by the leg and sending the man to the ground.
Isaac broke his nose when his face hit the floor. He was taken to hospital in Merritt.
Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen, acting as duty counsel for Isaac, said the man's nose remains "slightly tilted to the right" because of the incident.
The defence lawyer also questioned the "softness " of the officer's handling of Isaac.
"The take down, there was nothing soft about it. He was apparently flung to the ground and had his nose broken for it," said Jensen.
"He has paid dearly for his minor resisting of arrest. He was only trying to get into the probation officer while badly drunk.
"He has paid dearly for it," said Jensen.
Isaac is a chronic alcoholic with a lengthy record for alcohol offences. The man started drinking when he was 12.
Judge David Pendleton sentenced Isaac to 26 days in jail, essentially to give the man a chance to dry out. After he is released, it is hoped he will be admitted to a residential treatment program.
Meanwhile, Merritt detachment commander Cpl. Kathy Ecklund said she is aware of the Dec. 31 incident involving Const. Mosher and Isaac. She said she has no concerns about her officer's conduct that day.
Ecklund said Isaac's nose was broken accidentally as the officer struggled to get Isaac under control.
The commander said she has not sought access to a video of the incident, even though the probation office's lobby is apparently monitored by surveillance equipment.
Ecklund said she too has had run-ins with Isaac in Merritt in the past and noted the man is often violent or aggressive when he is drunk. She also said she knows Const. Mosher well and would be "extremely surprised" to hear anyone suggest he used excessive force.