The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has found no relationship between RCMP officers' actions and the January death of a Port Coquitlam man at a Whistler hotel.
On Jan. 20, Whistler RCMP responded to a disturbance reported at the Aava Hotel. The initial report stemmed from a noise complaint, but allegedly escalated to a physical altercation between 45-year-old Damon William Campbell and another individual. According to 911 recordings, the individual was reportedly on top of Campbell at approximately 3:17 a.m. when he stopped struggling.
When officers arrived, they placed Campbell in handcuffs, which were removed once they observed him "in distress and unresponsive," according to an IIO release. Officers and a hotel guest then administered CPR until emergency personnel arrived and took over. Campbell was pronounced dead at 4:48 a.m.
The IIO was deployed to Whistler shortly after "where standard investigative activities took place focussing (sic) on the actions of the officers," but ultimately found no relationship between the cops' actions and Campbell's injuries.
In a phone call with Pique, IIO spokesperson Kellie Kilpatrick would not provide any further details on the suspected murder.
The IIO no longer has jurisdiction over the case. The RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) now leads the investigation. No suspects have been named.
Sgt. Stephanie Ashton, media relations officer with IHIT, did not return a request for comment by press time.
Meanwhile an arrest has been made in the case of a string of break-ins and auto thefts in Whistler last week.
After a lengthy investigation, the Burnaby RCMP Prolific Offender Suppression Team (POST) arrested Roger Stonehouse on March 4 outside of a bank in Burnaby. Stonehouse is alleged to have committed two thefts of autos, multiple thefts from autos and several frauds in various municipalities, according to an RCMP press release.
“Moments prior to the arrest, (Stonehouse) was observed obtaining funds fraudulently from the bank,” the release said.
“Members from POST linked this fraud to a theft from automobile that was committed less than 12 hours earlier in Whistler.”
A search warrant was executed at Stonehouse’s residence, where officers located a firearm, ammunition, stolen property and stolen mail.
The investigation is ongoing.—With files from Braden Dupuis—