Feature Story                                                            Thursday April 7, 2016


Police Investigate Sudden Death

Well-known Chilliwack real estate agent and downtown business owner dies after being arrested  

Staff/Voice photos


IIOBC investigators were at the scene of an incident on Yale Road near Five Corners on Wednesday. The BC Coroners Office confirmed on Thursday that Lindsey Gauthier was the man who died. Below, a Linked In photo of Gauthier.


t has to be a cop's worst nightmare to have an arrested suspect suddenly die.


That's what happened in Chilliwack just after 7 A.M., Wednesday. Reports were a man was causing a disturbance at or around the Uptown Cafe in the 46000-block of Yale Road. According to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIOBC), who investigate in-custody deaths, a man died while being arrested Wednesday.


IIOC said that while en route to the call, Mounties asked for paramedics to be dispatched as a routine precaution.


On Thursday, the BC Coroner's Office confirmed that it was Chilliwack realtor Lindsey Gauthier who died after being arrested.


When asked by The Voice Thursday if a taser was deployed during Gauthier's arrest,  IIOBC said they could not release any more information stating the investigation is still ongoing. It was rumoured that affable City street cleaner Harold Zinke was involved, but that could also not be confirmed.

When police arrived at the scene Wednesday, they quickly and took Gauthier into custody.

"The arresting officers then observed the man go into medical distress and began CPR. Paramedics attended and transported the man to hospital. He was pronounced dead at hospital," said IIOBC who were on-scene well into the evening hours.

A FaceBook photo of Lindsey Gauthier and his wife, Angela, in Las Vegas late last year.

It's unknown if Gauthier had any medical condition that may have affected him in a hard takedown scenario.

A source known to the victim, told The Voice at the scene Wednesday, that it was Lindsey Gauthier, a well-known Chilliwack realtor and owner of Ultra Wash Laundry Service located just down the block from where the incident took place, had recently gotten out of alcohol rehab.

Talk on the street, from an assortment of locals, was that Gauthier attacked Zinke, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I figure he (Gauthier) relapsed in delirium," said the source. "He must have been real bad to have jumped Harold. I mean, Harold's always got a smile on his face." (See Zinke's photo on The Voice banner posted last week.)

"It's really tough to go through rehab. I'm 53, but I did it," declared the source. "Oh yeah, and I quit smoking too and am 59 days smoke-free."

When it comes to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, experts are now saying that abstinence-based rehab is totally ineffective because virtually all addicts relapse after going cold turkey. The situation is so dire in the US that the government told all of its agencies earlier this year, that if they only offered abstinence-based programs their funding would be cut off.  Just like that.

Aside from a busy career as a commercial and investment realtor, Gauthier was an active member of the downtown business community through his Ultra Wash Laundry Service. The familiar, blue one-story building in the 46000-block of Yale Road also housed a small convenience store and car wash.

Investigators inside the Uptown Grill on Yale Road in Chilliwack.

Describing himself in a business listing website, he said he was "a very successful realtor in the commercial industry in the Chilliwack area, and has the experience and knowledge you want when it comes to commercial buying, selling or leasing."

However, posts outside of social media about the Laundromat Gauthier bought sometime in 2012, said it was going downhill.

"It was awesome before the new owners bought it, at which point it started to fall into disrepair," said one poster.

At one point someone filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau against the business. That complaint was not responded to.

In November last year, Gauthier listed his laundry/car wash/convenience store business for sale at $749,000 which included "Buildings, land and business on busy Yale Rd in Chilliwack. This is an easy to Run Business," he noted in the advertisements.

Website images of Laundromat.

Gauthier's final FaceBook post was December 4, 2015 when he put out a call for donations of warm clothing during the annual realtors clothing drive. He's also listed as having made at least one cash donation to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation.

A City of Chilliwack barricade on Yale Road Wednesday.


Investigators ask that any potential witnesses call the IIOBC Toll-free Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477.

"The mandate of the IIOBC is to investigate whether any offences may have been committed by the police officers involved. The mandate of the BC Coroners Service in such cases is broader. The coronerís investigation may look at the events that led up to the final fatal outcome and whether there are reasonable and practical recommendations that could be made that might prevent future deaths in similar circumstances," said the BC Coroner's Office in a release on Thursday.


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