Three firefighters who work for the Trail, B.C., fire department are facing charges after allegedly assaulting a homeless man in April.
Sgt. Mike Wicentowich with Trail RCMP confirmed the charges were laid Wednesday in Rossland provincial court, and said the three men are employed by Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue.
He said the three men knew the victim and that the alleged attack likely stemmed from a previous altercation.
"This is in no way a reflection of the fire department but does impact them," said Wicentowich.
The possible motivations behind the attack will be presented in court at a future hearing.
Dan Derby, Fire Chief for Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue, confirmed to CBC News that the three men are firefighters with the regional detachment.
He says the regional district is taking the allegations seriously.
"Public safety is at the heart of everything we do. We are saddened and disturbed by these charges and the allegations and the RDKB does not condone this type of conduct on or off duty," said Derby.
Gregory Ferraby, Richard Morris and Wesley Parsons are each charged with one count of assault.
Wicentowich said the victim, who lives in his vehicle, is a 49-year-old Trail man.
"The man was allegedly punched in the head several times, may have lost consciousness, and had a serious shoulder injury," RCMP said in a statement.
The alleged assault happened in the alley of the 900 block of Spokane Street.
Derby says the regional district is conducting its own internal investigation into the matter and the firefighters are "absent from the workplace at this time."
It is not clear if they have been suspended.