A Victoria man has been convicted of charges stemming from an attack on VicPD K9, the first Greater Victoria Area conviction under a Canadian law designed to protect K9 service dogs.
The man was charged under Justice for Animals in Service Act, or “Quanto’s Law” for an attack on VicPD K9 police service dog (PSD) Uno. Quanto’s Law makes it a criminal offence to cause harm, suffering or death of a service animal. The law was inspired by Edmonton Police Service PSD Quanto, a German shepherd with four years of service and more than 100 arrests to his name, who was killed on the job in Edmonton in 2013.
On July 6th, 2016, a Patrol officer conducted a vehicle stop at the intersection of Kingston and Menzies streets. During the stop, the officer noted the identity of the vehicle driver and the presence of drugs in the driver’s lap. The officer had the suspect driver exit the vehicle and began to take him into custody. The suspect driver suddenly assaulted the officer and re-entered his vehicle. The officer attempted to stop the suspect driver from driving away from the scene and was partially dragged by the vehicle before being able to free himself. The officer then called for back-up.
Having positively identified the suspect, and given the risks to the public associated with a pursuit in the residential James Bay neighbourhood, the officer did not pursue the fleeing vehicle. Back-up arrived and officers recovered baggies of cocaine and heroin the suspect had left behind at the scene.
Patrol officers, with the assistance of VicPD K9 officers, began to search for the suspect.
A short time later, K9 and Patrol officers located the suspect in a hotel in the 400-block of Quebec Street. As officers made their way to the suspect’s room, they encountered him and a companion, who had been a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the earlier incident in the hallway. The suspect and his companion both began to fight with officers. PSD Uno was released to assist in the arrest. Both suspects then attacked PSD Uno, striking the K9 several times in the head and face.
After a struggle, Patrol and K9 officers were able to get both suspects into custody. The suspect was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, briefly treated, and released for transport to cells. The suspect’s companion was uninjured. PSD Uno recovered from his injuries and returned to duty at a later date.
On October 26th 2018, the suspect was convicted on charges of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, dangerous driving, obstruction of a police officer and the assaults on PSD Uno. He returns to court this month for sentencing. The suspect’s companion in the vehicle previously plead guilty to similar charges.
“Quanto’s law helps protect our K9 partners, who so often put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and us, their human partners,” VicPD K9 A/Sgt. Calvin Ewer said. “This conviction shows that harming a K9 has serious consequences.”
–Victoria Police Department