A criminal investigation is continuing into the actions of a police officer who was filmed punching a man in the face after a concert in Abbotsford.
Civil court documents filed April 19 by the City of Abbotsford indicate that the Langley RCMP is currently conducting the investigation into the incident that occurred Nov. 26, 2022.
As well, the documents indicate that an investigation into the officer’s conduct related to the Police Act is ongoing to determine whether any disciplinary action – such as a suspension or termination – is applicable.
The documents are the city’s response to a notice of civil claim filed in December by Ryan Atzenberger, the man involved in the incident.
Atzenberger, a Kamloops resident, is suing the city and the officer, who is referred to in the documents as “John Doe Constable #1.”
Atzenberger says in the lawsuit that he was leaving The Offspring concert at Abbotsford Centre when he was detained by officers about “an investigation relating to another individual.”
Atzenberger says officers used “excessive force” when they arrested him, and he was punched twice in the face by the defendant.
Video filmed by an onlooker was posted on social media after the incident.
The Abbotsford Police Department issued a statement on Nov. 28, saying the matter was being investigated by its professional standards branch and that the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner was notified.
In its response to the notice of civil claim, the city says it “exercised all reasonable care, skill and diligence and acted in accordance with all applicable standards and practices and statutory requirements with respect to any and all matters as alleged in the notice of civil claim.”
The documents state that, because the investigations into the officer are still underway, “the actions of John Doe Constable #1 are unknown to the city.”
“Further factual particulars will be provided in the city’s amended response to civil claim after the investigations are concluded and when permissible pursuant to the applicable statutory authority,” the documents state.
Atzenberger is seeking aggravated, special and punitive damages. His claim asks that the punitive damages be “several orders of magnitude larger than they have been in previous police misconduct cases.”