Cst. Richard Allan BOURGOIN – August 31, 1983

Reg. # 28498, Cst. Richard Allan BOURGOIN

August 31, 1983       Piapot First Nation Reserve, Saskatchewan        Age: 33 yrs.

Cst. BOURGOIN was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on April 28, 1950 to Edgar Joseph and Wava Anna BOURGOIN.  He had two sibling brothers, David Glenn and James Edward.  He attended Burnaby North Senior Secondary School.  He was very active in Scouts Canada becoming a Queen’s Scout and joined the RCMP Auxiliary program at Burnaby, British Columbia.  He joined the Force at Burnaby on October 26, 1970.

He graduated from Basic Recruit Training on May 10, 1971 and was posted to Broadview, Saskatchewan.  On November 17, 1971, he transferred to Southey Det.  On April 15, 1973, he was transferred to Blaine Lake with a period of secondment at Smeaton Det.  He was transferred to Uranium City on September 4, 1973.

On July 20, 1974, Cst. BOURGOIN married Donna Mae Seierstad in the Central Lutheran Church at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

On February 25, 1976, daughter, Richelle Dawn BOURGOIN was born at Swift Current.  He was transferred to Pierceland on September 1, 1978 for a short duration and then to Southey Detachment on November 6, 1978.  Son, Edward Martin was born on August 14, 1980 at Regina, Saskatchewan.  Daughter, Jolene Rae was born on January 16, 1982 at Regina, Saskatchewan.

At 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 31, 1983, the detachment office at Southey, Saskatchewan received a complaint from the Piapot Indian Reserve that a 17 year old male named Laurie Cappo was causing a disturbance and breaking windows at a residence on the Reserve.  S/Cst. C.J. WUTTUNEE and Cst. BOURGOIN responded to the complaint and arrived at the Reserve sometime after 11:00 am.  They weren’t able to find Cappo, but did manage to arrest two other people on the Reserve.  One was a woman wanted on a warrant of committal from Regina, and the other was a man they found driving while intoxicated.  He was able to tell the police where Laurie Cappo could be found and directed the officers to a house on the Reserve where Cappo was hiding.  Once the police cruiser pulled up to the door, Cappo bolted and ran from the house.

Cst. BOURGOIN got out of the cruiser and chased him on foot through the bush.  As soon as S/Cst. WUTTUNEE secured the two prisoners in the police car, she too gave chase, even though BOURGOIN and Cappo were well out of her sight.

Approximately 200 yards from where the chase started, she found Cst. BOURGOIN lying on his back, apparently unconscious.  Cappo was nowhere to be seen.  WUTTUNEE ran back to the police cruiser and drove it to the place where BOURGOIN had fallen.  She enlisted the help of passers-by and placed Cst. BOURGOIN in the back of the car.

As WUTTUNEE raced towards the hospital in Regina, she reported his situation to Regina telecommunications.  They, in turn, dispatched an ambulance that met WUTTUNEE’s cruiser about 13 miles north of the city.  Cst. BOURGOIN was transferred to the ambulance and rushed to Pasqua Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival there.

An extensive air and ground search of the Piapot Reserve was conducted and Laurie Cappo was apprehended at 6:45 pm.  He was interviewed at length in the Southey Detachment and insisted that at no time was there any contact between him and the officer who had been chasing him.  He said that the policeman never got within 50 feet of him and he didn’t even see the officer go down.  His statement was soon corroborated by the results of Cst. BOURGOIN’s autopsy which found that he had died from a massive heart attack.

An investigation revealed several factors in his death.  First of all, the day he died was sweltering hot with temperatures in the nineties.  More significantly, Rick BOURGOIN’s father, Edwin, had died from a heart attack at the age of 39.  Rick himself suffered from a moderate degree of hypertension, but his condition wasn’t so severe as to predict sudden death from running.  He was a healthy looking man who played soccer and softball and never missed a day of work in his 13 years on the Force.

Rick BOURGOIN was a policeman, who loved his work.  His wife, Donna, and his mother, Wava BOURGOIN, both emphasized how much he liked his job, how important it was to him.  Donna says, “He liked working where it was busy. He liked the action.  The other officers always called Rick for back up because they knew he would be willing to go.  He always went in early.  The day he died, he was working the 10:00 am to 6:00 pm shift, but he reported in at 8:30 am.  It was always like that.”

Cst. BOURGOIN’s work among the native people had earned him a reputation for being outstanding in his handling of minority groups and for promoting good relations with them.  His wife agrees, “He really liked working with the natives.  He had a nice way of dealing with them.”  Donna was an elementary school teacher in Southey when she met Rick in 1974.  They were married when he was posted to Uranium City, Saskatchewan, near Lake Athabasca.  Rick and Donna had three children.  At the time of his death, Richelle was seven, Edward was three and Jolene was eighteen months.

Cst. BOURGOIN’s funeral was held at the RCMP Chapel in Regina with interment at the Depot Cemetery.

(Personnel File reviewed and Photos available)