Nelson Police Department issued a media release Thursday, explaining actions of officers during a search for a distraught man late Tuesday evening that has ignited a firestorm on social media.
A woman, going by the name of “Jamie JW” said at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2021, four to five Nelson Police officers entered her house without knocking or ringing the doorbell.
“They said they were looking for someone injured . . . that they received a call that there was someone injured in this area,” Jamie JW said in a post appearing on the Nelson, BC Facebook site.
“I was in bed when I heard voices searching for someone and then realized the voices were inside my house,” Jamie JW added.
“I emerged from my bedroom to a group of police inside my home, halfway up the stairs.
“They began shouting questions at me about who was in the house. I was alone with my small dog (as) my husband (was) away on business.”
Nelson Police said the search unfolded Tuesday evening when the department was contacted by BC Ambulance Service requesting assistance in locating a male who had put his hand through some glass which caused a serious cut to his arm.
BC Ambulance said the heavily intoxicated and was acting “out of it.”
“According to the initial complainant, the injured man did not want medical attention,” Nelson Police said.
“Instead, he wanted to be alone to perform a ritual or ceremony.”
Nelson Police said officers began to employ numerous methods to locate the male.
BC Ambulance Service called police shortly after to explain to Nelson Police the nearest ambulance would need to be dispatched from Kaslo and requested the KERPA (Kootenay Emergency Response Physicians Association) physician to assist.
Nelson Police Department also requested the assistance of Nelson Fire Rescue Services.
“As a result of this information, police reasonably believed they were dealing with a serious threat to life medical emergency that required them to locate the injured male as soon as possible.”
Nelson Police said three members, Nelson Fire Rescue firefighters, Dr. Nick Sparrow from KERPA and a BC Ambulance crews focused on the area where it was believed the man could be hiding.
After confirming the injured man was not in one condominium, two uniformed officers knocked on the door of another condominium, announced that they were police and gave verbal directions to the occupant.
“At that point an upstairs light was turned off,” Nelson Police said.
“This action caused the officers to believe that the male may be inside the condominium hiding or endangering the occupants, thus, they lawfully entered the unlocked residence.”
Police said three officers made entry and shortly thereafter the resident came onto the stairs where she had a conversation with one of the Constables.
“After ensuring the female occupant was safe, and the subject of their search was not present, the officers departed,” Nelson Police said.
“As he departed, (one of the Constables) wisely recommended that the resident lock the front door,” Nelson Police added.
However, that’s not the way the female resident remembered the interaction with officers.
“Once they realized the person, they were looking for wasn't here they left without a word except, “You should lock your doors” as they shut the door on me,” Jamie JW explained.
Jamie JW added the officer closed the door so fast that a colleague, was left behind snooping in the downstairs part of the condo, that is currently under construction.
She said that officer had to open the door, before scurrying out to continue the search.
“No one gave me a card or information or stayed behind to console me,” said Jamie JW, admitting she is having a difficult time recovering from the late night encounter with police.
“Literally (police) shut the door on me (leaving me) shaking at the top of the stairs alone with my dog.”
Nelson Police said the injured man was found a short time later in the alleyway.
“The heavily intoxicated male continued to refuse the offers of medical assistance from police and the physician,” Nelson Police said.
“The male was apprehended by police for his safety and transported to Kootenay Lake Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.”
Nelson Police said when it was safe, the male was transported home to his residence by officers.