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VicPD is sued after cyclist on e-bike ran red light, wouldn't pull over and was knocked down

VicPD admits in court documents that officers in a police vehicle hit the e-bike after failing to get the cyclist to stop.
Victoria police headquarters on Caledonia Avenue. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

An e-biker is suing the Victoria Police Department, alleging they were struck by a police vehicle after the e-bike ran a red light and did not pull over when officers turned on their lights and sirens.

Alkido Pashollari filed a civil suit against the police force in B.C. provincial court shortly after the Jan. 6, 2023, incident, saying they were knocked off their bike and rushed to hospital. Pashollari describes riding the bike through a red light around 10:30 p.m. in the intersection of Gorge Road West and Harriet Road. A VicPD officer turned on the police vehicle’s lights and sirens.

“I assumed she was going to drive [past] me, so I continued biking,” Pashollari wrote in the suit.

Less than 200 metres down the road, the suit says, the officer “drove beside me, and hit me with her vehicle on my left side, knocking me to the ground. A pedestrian ran up crying and was trying to make sure I was OK. The officers asked her to leave.”

Pashollari was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder that left them unable to work for two weeks, the suit says.

The bike was damaged and confiscated by police, and has not been returned, Pashollari said in the claim. Pashollari is suing for nearly $17,000, which includes $10,000 in pain and suffering, $3,000 for lost wages and $3,500 for damage to the electric downhill mountain bike.

VicPD initially denied the allegation in its response to Pashollari’s civil suit but amended its response last week with arguments to dismiss the suit. The department argued it can’t be sued, saying the City of Victoria is the legal entity responsible for the conduct of VicPD and its employees, but that it is too late to sue the city, because all actions against a municipality must be started within six months.

VicPD said it admits that officers in a police vehicle hit Pashollari on an e-bike after Pashollari ran a red light. The officers attempted to stop Pashollari, VicPD’s response said.

“The Claimant refused to stop and the Defendant’s officers used their police vehicle to make contact with the Ebike’s rear-wheel in order to stop the Claimant, and to prevent the Claimant from fleeing,” VicPD said.

The department said the force used on Pashollari was no more than necessary in the circumstances and that if Pashollari suffered any injury it was because Pashollari rode through a red light, or at least that the act contributed to injuries.

A spokesperson for VicPD said the department could not answer questions Monday about whether it is common practice for officers to intentionally hit people with cars and when that would be deemed appropriate.

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