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Foul-mouthed Burnaby RCMP officer reprimanded for off-duty incident

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A Burnaby RCMP officer has been reprimanded and docked six days’ pay for swearing and using vulgar language at a woman while off duty.

Const. Harinder Paul Pabla approached a woman in the parking lot at Willowbrook Mall in Langley on Dec. 31, 2011 to complain that she had taken the parking spot he had been waiting for.

She responded rudely and swore at him, her language peppered with F-bombs, saying she didn’t see him signaling for the spot, according to an RCMP disciplinary decision. When Pabla suggested she get a lighter pair of sunglasses, she responded with vulgar language and gave him the finger.

Pabla responded in kind, calling her a “dirty slut” and making other lewd comments. The woman answered that by kicking him twice in the left knee and leg and hit him in the chest with her purse.

She told him to stop following her although they were walking towards the same entrance. Pabla produced his badge, identifying himself as a police officer and told her he’d arrest her if she assaulted him again.

Not long after, she swung her purse at him again, hitting him in the groin and head area. He swung his arm out to defend himself, contacting her shoulder, then carried on into the mall and to his destination, the dentist office.

A passerby called 911 and the woman complained of being assaulted by Pabla, who was then charged with assault.

Pabla was acquitted of assault in August 2013, the RCMP decision said. Judge Jardine ruled the woman had actually assaulted Pabla and not the other way around.

Jardine also commented that Pabla “had to a significant degree been the author of his own misfortune by having instigated and perpetuated the antagonism.” As a trained police officer “he ought to have known better than to have spoken to Ms. O at all.”

Jardine said despite the vulgar language the woman used, Pabla’s “demeanour, tone, use of sarcasm and gutterspeak was unacceptable,” and was not the standard expected of a 16-year member of the RCMP.

Among mitigating factors for Pabla in the RCMP’s decision was the fact he admitted the incident. “Particularly impressive” was that he completed his master’s degree while under suspension for the incident, it said.

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