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City hall break-in suspect sustained ‘significant injury’ during arrest, says police watchdog

Alberta’s police watchdog is investigating the use of force by officers after a man suspected of breaking into Calgary’s city hall and setting fires earlier this week sustained “significant injury” during arrest.

Calgary police responded to reports of a break-in and structure fire at the Calgary Municipal Building around 4 am on Tuesday. They said they found a man with an edged weapon.

He gained access by smashing the glass exterior in the front of the building — and once inside, he began to light fires “while becoming increasingly more agitated and aggressive,” police said earlier this week.

After verbal efforts to disarm him were unsuccessful, officers discharged non-lethal weapons before apprehending him with assistance from the K-9 unit, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said Friday.

Police recovered an edged weapon from the scene as well as accelerants believed to have been used to set the fires, ASIRT said Friday. (ASCERTAIN)

“[EMS] attended to provide assistance and transported the suspect to a Calgary-area hospital for treatment,” the release said.

“The male sustained significant injury during his arrest.”

ASIRT said it will conduct an investigation into the use of force by the police, but no additional information will be released.

On Aug. 2, police said that the man is a client of the Police and Crisis Team, and “this incident highlights the importance of working with Alberta Health Services to offer assessment, support and consultation for people experiencing a mental health crisis.”

Meanwhile, the Municipal Building suffered extensive water damage after the fire activated the sprinkler system. A media tour of the damaged areas revealed that the fires were lit in multiple locations.

ASIRT investigates when death or serious injury may have been caused by police in Alberta. It also investigates serious allegations of police misconduct.

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