Abbotsford Police officer assaulted after responding to hit-and-run call

A 66-year-old man who allegedly punched an Abbotsford Police officer and attempted to take his Taser on Tuesday night is facing possible assault charges.

A 66-year-old man has been charged after allegedly punching an Abbotsford Police officer and attempting to take his Taser on Tuesday night.

Jagir Singh, who has no previous criminal history, appeared in court Wednesday and was charged with assaulting a police officer, uttering threats, failing to remain at the scene of a crash, and attempting to disarm an officer.

Const. Ian MacDonald said police received a report at about 10:45 p.m. that the driver of a 1993 Mazda 626 had crashed into a 2006 Honda Civic in the vicinity of Ponderosa Street and Upper Maclure Road in west Abbotsford.

The man then attempted to leave the scene, but the crash had taken off one of the front wheels of his car, and sparks were flying from the wheel well as he accelerated.

MacDonald said the officer who responded to the call arrived to find a group of witnesses concerned about the man’s behaviour. He tried to get the driver to turn off the vehicle and step out of his car.

Instead, the man threatened the officer, began “punching and grabbing” him, and tried to remove his Taser, MacDonald said.

He said the suspect was 50 to 75 pounds heavier than the officer, who called for backup. When the second officer arrived, the man was pepper-sprayed and then handcuffed.

He was taken to hospital for treatment of the pepper-spray effects before being released back to police.

MacDonald said alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the incident, and the driver has offered no explanation about his behaviour.

He said the man is not known to police and is otherwise someone who would be considered an “average citizen.” The incident is a stark reminder of the uncertainty of policing, he added.

“From an officer’s perspective, you just don’t know what’s going to happen and when.”