Tavares rejects request to meet officer face-to-face

The Kelowna man kicked in the face by a local RCMP officer left the courthouse Tuesday afternoon still not having had a chance to see the officer in person, but Buddy Tavares said he isn’t interested in meeting with Const. Geoff Mantler anywhere else.

Tavares told reporters that Mantler’s lawyer had contacted his former lawyer about Mantler wanting to meet one-on-one with him, but said it would be “a bad thing.”

“I said I’ll hear him explain it to court,” said Tavares.

“He doesn’t have to explain it to me. I know what happened.”

When asked if he thought the officer wanted to apologize, Tavares said Mantler “doesn’t have to be sorry. He just has to be ashamed.”

Tavares was arrested by Mantler on Jan. 7 after police received a call about shots fired at the Harvest Golf Club. During the arrest, Mantler was caught on video kicking Tavares in the face while Tavares was on his hands and knees.

Mantler, who grew up in Armstrong, was charged in March with two counts of assault causing bodily harm in connection with that incident and another incident involving Manjeet Bhatti in August.

A weapons charge laid against Tavares after the arrest has since been dropped.

In court on Tuesday, Mantler’s lawyer appeared on the 28-year-old officer’s behalf and said he had received disclosure of evidence on both criminal files last week.

He asked that the case return to court in one month.

The court also heard that the Crown is currently proceeding by indictment in the Bhatti case and summarily in the Tavares case.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the Crown cannot proceed summarily against a defendant if the charge is laid more than six months after the offence date, unless both the prosecutor and defendant agree.

The maximum penalty for assault causing bodily harm in an indictable case is 10 years in prison, whereas it is 18 months in custody for cases dealt with summarily.

Mantler’s cases return to court June 2.