Former Kelowna Mountie handed suspended sentence for kicking man during arrest

KELOWNA, B.C. – A former RCMP officer who kicked a suspect in the face while the man was on his knees has been handed a suspended sentence and 18 months probation by a Kelowna, B.C., judge.

Geoff Mantler pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for kicking Buddy Tavares during an arrest in the Okanagan city two years ago.

The arrest, which was caught on video by a bystander, showed Mantler kicking the man as he was complying with police orders to get down on the ground.

Judge Greg Koturbash also ordered that Mantler have no contact with Tavares.

Mantler resigned from the RCMP, but if he goes back, the judge ruled Mantler must undergo use-of-force retraining.

He was not banned from owning firearms, as the Crown had sought and was fined a $50 victim surcharge fee.

The sentence does reflect the Crown request for Mantler’s punishment.

Mantler’s lawyer was seeking a conditional discharge.

On Tuesday during his sentencing hearing, Mantler read a letter of apology to the court saying he was deeply sorry and regretted his actions.

Tavares said after the hearing that he was pleased to hear that Mantler had quit the force because he feared for others might get hurt if the man went back to his job.

The sentence means Mantler will have to report to a probation officer for the next 18 months. (CKFR) (Kelowna Daily Courier)