Officer breaks leg during struggle with man who refused to wear mask at court building: police

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A man who became violent after refusing to wear a mask inside the Vancouver Law Courts building is facing assault charges after a scuffle in which an officer broke a leg, police say.

The 53-year-old Vancouver resident was not wearing a mask when he entered the building at 800 Hornby St. on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Vancouver Police Department.

A court sheriff asked him to don a mask, but the man allegedly refused put one on, and according to police, he also refused to leave the building.

When two police officers responded, the man became argumentative and aggressive, allegedly kicking one of the officers and reaching for his firearm, the statement said.

According to police, while the man was being arrested, he fell on top of an officer, breaking his leg.

The officer was taken to hospital for treatment and released the same day. He is expected to be off duty for several months, according to the statement.

Police are now recommending charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, assault on a peace officer, and disarming a peace officer.

The man was also issued a $230 violation ticket for failing to wear a mask in an indoor public space.

"This man showed complete disregard for the provisions set out by the provincial health officer," VPD Const. Tania Visintin said.