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Calgary police canine unit officer charged with on-duty assault

A 12-year member of the Calgary Police Service has been charged with assault after a February incident that involved the officer’s service dog.

According to police, around 11 p.m. on Feb. 20, officers had spotted a vehicle with a license plate that indicated it had been reported stolen. Police said officer followed from a distance until it parked outside a building in the 1200 block of 34 Avenue NE.

After sitting in the vehicle, the driver left and walked towards the building. When she approached the entrance, a canine officer came up and ordered her to lie on the ground.

According to police, the woman put her belongings down, but didn’t immediately lie down. She was then forced to the ground. It’s alleged at that time the officer kicked her in the back and that the officer’s dog bit the woman in the back.

Once in custody, it was determined the victim had unknowingly had her licence plate swapped with another similar vehicle.

The Calgary police release stated that it was lawful to arrest the woman to investigate what they reasonably believed was a stolen vehicle. The case was reviewed internally and sent to the Crown prosecutor’s office where it was determined criminal charges were appropriate for the force used during the arrest.

“CPS proactively reached out to the victim as soon as we became aware of the incident. She has fully cooperated with the investigation and has been offered the full range of victim support resources,” the media release stated.

Const. Keegan Metz has been charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, police said. He has also been removed from the canine unit. Metz has been suspended with pay.   Police said his pay and status will be regularly reviewed.