‘Suicidal’ 14-year-old Surrey boy Tasered by RCMP
A 14-year-old boy from Surrey who was “suicidal” was Tasered by an officer after attempting to harm himself, according to police.
Const. Peter Neily said a family in a Guildford area apartment called police Monday afternoon “to let us know their son was in a significant amount of distress and was attempting to harm himself.”
Officers arrived, and they found the boy in a highly agitated state, Neily said, and they tried to arrest him under the mental health act.
“At that point a significant physical struggle ensued, at which point the individual grabbed what appeared to be a mallet and attempted to strike himself in the head with it,” Neily said.
The officers continued to try to control the boy, and used pepper spray, “with no noticeable effect.”
At that point the boy was Tasered once in push stun mode, and arrested. A total of three officers responded to the call, arriving one after another, Neily said.
The push stun mode passes a current directly onto the skin, rather than shooting probes into the target.
The boy was compliant after the Tasering, and was not injured in the arrest, Neily said. He was taken to hospital where he was treated and assessed under the mental health act.
Neily said the Tasering was reviewed by a senior officer, and it was found that the proper steps and use of force were used, under the circumstances.
The boy was described by officers as about 5-10, 180-pounds, and “very muscular,” Neily said.
“Mental health and family issues are not restricted to individuals of any specific age,” he said. “We use what is assessed at the time as appropriate amount of force to apprehend them considering their safety and the individuals around.”
The boy doesn’t face any criminal charges, Neily said.
Neily said “a senior officer followed up with the family last night and they are satisfied with the police actions but they do have some concerns for the safety of their son.”
Suicide and crisis resources phone numbers
• 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
• B.C. Nurse Line: 1-866-215-4700 (TTY deaf/hearing impaired number: 1-866-889-4700)
• B.C. Mental Health Information Line: 1-800-661-2121
• B.C. Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service: 1-800-663-1441
• Griefworks B.C.: 1-877-234-3322
• SAFER (Suicide Attempt Follow-up, Education and Research): 604-879-9251
• Vancouver Crisis Centre: 1-866-661-3311
• Youth In B.C.: www.youthinbc.com
What you can do to help prevent suicide
You can help someone in crisis by:
• Really listening, without judging, not challenging or becoming angry and shocked.
• Finding ways to break through the silence and secrecy.
• Asking if they have plans or have made prior attempts.
• Helping them find ways to lessen their pain.
• Helping them see positive possibilities in their future.
• Guiding them to other sources of help as soon as possible, such as a counsellor or other trusted adult, or community crisis lines listed in your phone book.
• Leave a suicidal person alone.
• Agree to keep another person’s suicidal thoughts a secret.
Source: Province Files