BRITISH COLUMBIA

Ismail Bhabha, Vancouver Officer Convicted Of Assault, To Receive Award

01/19/2016 04:32 EST | Updated 01/19/2016 04:59 EST
BC Gov/Flickr

A Vancouver police officer found guilty of assault is being honoured for saving a tourist's life.

Const. Ismail Bhabha will be receiving a Chief Constable's Commendation Award for rescuing an elderly man and his dog from a sinking car last year, the department announced on Tuesday.

In October, a German tourist, 81, accidentally drove his car off the Vanier park boat launch. A witness saw the accident and called 911.

Bhabha and Const. Nicholas Wong arrived, jumped into the freezing water, and swam to the partially sunken car. Bhabha smashed the back window and threw his police baton inside where he guessed the man would be.

The tourist was able to grab the baton and the two officers pulled him safely to shore.

Officer punched cyclist

Bhahba was convicted of assault for punching a cyclist in the face in 2013. He was later given a condition discharge and sentenced to community service.

Vancouver police Chief Adam Palmer later defended the "highly regarded" officer.

"​People may make a mistake on a certain day, but I don't think they should be judged for their entire career on just one thing."

The province also commended Bhabha in November 2015 for the same rescue at the Police Honours Night, which recognizes outstanding officers in B.C.

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