Mountie fighting assault charge
BY KATHY MICHAELS
A Kelowna Mountie intends to fight at least one of the assault charges against him.
Defence attorney Neville McDougall appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to enter a plea of not guilty relating to Const. Geoff Mantler’s alleged Aug. 30, 2010 assault of Manjeet Singh Bhatti. It should officially be entered into record during an arraignment hearing scheduled for July 12.
What the disgraced Mountie will plead that same day for the charge related to kicking Buddy Tavares in the head while he was submitting to arrest last January, however, remains to be seen.
McDougall said he’s yet to wade through the 2,000 page disclosure, let alone the audio and video transcript associated with the file.
“The Tavares disclosure is extensive,” he told the court.
Should that material lead to Mantler pleading not guilty, a trial would be triggered and McDougall said that it’s bound to be a “multi-day” affair.
It’s also bound to be the subject of intense interest.
Mantler’s case captured the attention of the nation after video footage showed the police officer kicking a prone Tavares in the head during a roadside arrest. A charge against Tavares was eventually dropped, but Mantler, from Armstrong, has continued to get more deeply entrenched in the legal system as more complaints of misconduct came to the fore.
Only two amounted to legal action but the officer, who has been with the Mounties three years, was suspended from duty shortly after footage was released.
He was subject to an internal investigation and eventually had his wage suspended.