By Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press
Warren Banks was driving home on Halloween wearing his costume — a brown cultist robe — when he was pulled over by a police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.
It led to an encounter Banks remembers for how kind the officer was, made even more poignant this week when he learned the policeman, Const. John Davidson, had lost his life in the line of duty.
“It was just a really pleasant, friendly interaction and we got to the end and I just thought this guy is really exemplary,” Banks said.
Davidson, who was 53, was killed Monday while responding to a suspected stolen vehicle call when shots were fired.
A 65-year-old Alberta man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his death.
Davidson, who served as a police officer for 24 years in the United Kingdom and Abbostford, is survived by his wife and three adult children.
A police motorcade escorted his body Thursday from Vancouver General Hospital to a funeral home in Abbotsford.
Banks said Davidson made a positive impression on him from the moment they spoke after he was pulled over.
“The first thing I noticed was he addressed me by my name,” Banks said, adding he was at a loss for why he had been stopped.
Davidson explained his plates were scanned and flagged for having expired car insurance, Banks said.
The officer could have handed him a $600 ticket and impounded the vehicle, but Banks said Davidson believed he didn’t know his insurance expired and handed him a $100 ticket instead.
Banks still couldn’t drive without renewing his policy. He started looking up the nearest broker on his cellphone when Davidson came back with his ticket.
“He said, ‘I know one just three blocks down. Get in the car, I’ll give you a ride.’ “
Banks said he was surprised by the offer and wanted to express his gratitude.
“I was getting out of the car and I went to shake his hand and I said, ‘Thank you very much for the ride and I just want to say it was really an honour and privilege to be arrested by you,’ ” he said.
Davidson laughed and said it wasn’t an arrest, Banks recalled.
“I said, ‘Yeah I know I’m not under arrest but … I just wanted to let you know that I thought you did a great job,’ ” he said.
Banks said he told his girlfriend and a few other people about what happened. When news of Davidson’s death was released, Banks said he immediately recognized the officer who was kind, courteous and professional to him.
He posted a note on Facebook about his encounter, which he said has gone viral.
Flowers and messages of condolences have filled a makeshift memorial outside the Abbotsford Police Department in the days following Davidson’s death.
Banks said he wasn’t surprised to see the reaction when he stopped by the memorial on Wednesday.
“The guy was an incredible person. I didn’t catch him on a good day, he was like all the time from what I can see and hear,” he said.