Winnipeg police officer facing assault charge after suspect lands in hospital with punctured lung

Manitoba’s police watchdog organization said a member of the Winnipeg Police Service has been charged with assault in connection with an arrest on New Year’s Eve.

The Independent Investigation Unit said the incident happened on Dec. 31, 2018, when officers were called to a break-in in progress on Boyd Avenue and used force while arresting a man at the scene.

The suspect, 47, complained that his ribs were sore and was taken to Seven Oaks Hospital, where it was discovered that he had broken ribs and a punctured lung, serious enough injuries to fall under the unit’s mandate to investigate.

On Friday, the police watchdog said it conducted a thorough investigation and its civilian director consulted with Manitoba Prosecution Services in deciding to lay the charge, a decision which it said was based on “reasonable and probable grounds to believe a criminal offence occurred.”

Const. Matthew Middleton was notified of the assault charge on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 13.