A Vancouver Island rugby player is facing a string of charges after a bizarre April 15 incident in which a teenager threw himself in front of a moving taxi and is alleged to have assaulted the driver before driving the car away.
Westshore RCMP Thursday announced charges against an unidentified 19-year-old resident of Colwood.
Sources said the incident involves a teenage rugby player who was part of a Rugby Canada development team.
Video from the taxi’s dashcam released by the RCMP show a young man flinging himself onto the front of the car as it was travelling down Sooke Road in Colwood, smashing the window in the process.
The man then got to his feet and is seen in a second video opening the door and dragging out the driver. The video was shot from a distance, police say.
According to the RCMP’s description, witnesses then called 911 and police responded. Police said that after arriving on scene, the suspect was “very aggressive, confrontational and refused to comply with police commands.”
Officers shot the man with a Taser “before engaging in a brief struggle in an effort to take him into custody.”
The taxi driver was taken to hospital.
The manager of Bluebird Taxi in Victoria told the Victoria Times-Colonist the driver was still off work after sustaining injuries, including being knocked unconscious, suffering a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder.
The suspect has been charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault, assaulting a police officer, mischief to property under $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle.
After the case was reported in the media, Rugby Canada released a statement saying an 18-year-old had been released from the Pacific Pride Academy Program.
“We were made aware on April 18 of an earlier incident involving several Pacific Pride players gathered at a private residence. In the face of incomplete information, we initially placed four players under suspension while we investigated further,” Rugby Canada said.
“We were unaware of any criminal charges until today. We pledge our full cooperation with law enforcement,” the Academy said.
The sports organization says one player has been released from the Pacific Pride Academy and any Rugby Canada activities.
“We now consider this a matter for the justice system, the Academy said. “Two players remain suspended as they proceed through due process as per our discipline and complaints policy.”
In both videos, a white car can be seen driving past but not stopping. Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the white car.
The police also believe there are other witnesses to the incident and are asking them to come forward.
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