Coquitlam RCMP has concerning encounter with elderly couple

Myung Ju Lee (left) and Kap Su Lee (right)  via Jacy Schindel/CBC
Myung Ju Lee (left) and Kap Su Lee (right) via Jacy Schindel/CBC

Man dragged down stairs caught on video, raises concern

By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor

An elderly couple was removed from a Best Western Hotel in Coquitlam in what some may consider to be a rough and excessive manner on October 28.

The RCMP was called to the hotel to disband an AGM for a nearby strata that had allegedly resulted in fighting. The Coquitlam RCMP made the decision to draw the meeting to a close on arrival, and most of the attendees had left peacefully. However, an elderly couple in their 80s—Myung Ju Lee and Kap Su Lee—refused to leave.

A disturbing video was captured by Victor Kim, who is an owner in the aforementioned strata, and was released on YouTube. The video depicts Ju Lee being forcibly dragged down the stairs by the RCMP, after lying down and having resisted arrest. The couple was also accompanied by their nine-year-old granddaughter, who could be heard screaming and seen losing her temper at another police officer while her grandparents were removed from the building.

The couple was arrested once they were brought to the bottom of the stairs. Later on, they were assessed for injuries and paid an overnight visit to the hospital. Ju Lee was bruised in the face, while Su Lee procured scrapes on her back.

Little information on whether or not any other means were used to coerce the couple out of the hotel, yet the Coquitlam RCMP will be conducting a further investigation and review on the incident. The investigation may result in criminal charges for the couple.

“I respect and understand that the video may cause concern to the public,” said Sean Maloney, Superintendent of the Coquitlam RCMP, in a press release.

Maloney is asking for the community’s help with any information over this incident, yet has also asked them to be patient while the review is compiled.

Ju Lee spoke to the CBC after the incident, describing how the disturbing incident went down. Allegedly, his arm had been twisted behind his back, before the RCMP officer pushed and kicked him down the stairs. He then had his chest pinned down by the officer’s knee. While being arrested at the bottom of the stairs, Ju Lee protested.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a criminal … I’m a senior. Why do you have me in handcuffs?”

Su Lee had little to say on the incident.

Due to public concern over the treatment of the couple, including that of Kim, Maloney has “initiated a review into the actions of the police officers involved.”

Kim told CBC: “They’re in their eighties. Grandparents. They shouldn’t have handled it that way.”