Geoff Mantler, RCMP Officer Who Kicked Buddy Tavares, Pleads Guilty

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RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler changed his plea to guilty for kicking a suspect in the head during a January 2011 arrest. (Castanet)
RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler changed his plea to guilty for kicking a suspect in the head during a January 2011 arrest. (Castanet)

A B.C RCMP officer caught on video kicking a suspect in the head has changed his plea to guilty in the middle of his trial for assault causing bodily harm.

Const. Geoff Mantler was scheduled to testify Wednesday but his lawyer told the court his client had decided to change to a guilty plea, reported CBC News.

A video taken by Castanet videojournalist Kelly Hayes caught a January 2011 incident, where suspect Buddy Tavares is shown on his knees, as instructed by the RCMP officer. Tavares can be seen moving to get down on his hands when Mantler kicks him in the head.

Last week, the trial heard from a use of force expert who analyzed the video. He testified that Mantler broke just about every rule in police training when he arrested Tavares.

RCMP have said the officers were responding to reports of shots fired at a golf course when they stopped Tavares' vehicle.

Sentencing will be set at a later date, reported AM 1150.

Tavares, 51, has launched a civil lawsuit. He claims the kick left him with a broken nose and injuries to his mouth, teeth and brain, as well as shock and trauma.

Tavares was originally charged with careless use of a firearm, but the charge was later dropped.

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