A disabled Vancouver man is alleging five Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officers severely beat him, leaving him bloodied.
In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 12, Jardine Daniel de Villiers said officers punched him, ground his face into the pavement, kicked him and attempted to hogtie him on the night of June 2, 2021.
He alleges a suffered a fractured skull and eye socket, broken nose, facial lacerations that required stitches, broken ribs and ripped right knee ligaments, among other injuries as a result of the incident.
The claim said the incident began while de Villiers was sitting at a bus bench at 3277 Cambie St. Police pulled up while stopping an SUV at the bus stop, according to court documents.
De Villiers said he asked the officers to move the vehicle from the bus stop zone, explaining he had mobility issues.
The officers are identified only as John Does 1 through 5 and Jane Doe 1 in the notice of civil claim.
De Villiers said John Doe 1 and Jane Doe 1 began to aggressively question him and threatened to arrest him for uttering threats, obstruction of justice and carrying a concealed weapon (a box cutter visible in his satchel).
“After several minutes of escalating verbal interaction, John Doe 1 asks the plaintiff, how about I just beat you?” the claim said.
John Doe 1 then grabbed de Villiers by the throat, the claim said, and punched him four times — three in the head. John Doe 1 then allegedly rolled de Villiers onto the pavement and cuffed him, grinding his face into the pavement and putting weight on his back. Then, de Villiers alleges, Jane Doe 1 began pulling back his legs (in which he has chronic pain and poor mobility) to hogtie him.
None of the officers intervened "to stop the beating or take steps to investigate the incident," the claim said.
The claim noted one officer told bystanders a beating always looks worse than it actually is.
De Villiers alleges officers later took selfies of him in the paddy wagon, and that he was later charged with assaulting a police officer. De Villiers says he did not resist arrest or assault an officer.
“The plaintiff tried to protect his disabled hip and knee; protect his face from being ground into the pavement; protect his body from being beaten, and protect his face from being punched,” the claim stated.
A police version of what transpired that night is somewhat different.
In a statement to Vancouver Is Awesome on June 3, police said two VPD officers were approached by the man, who had been sitting at the nearby bus stop. The man started behaving erratically and aggressively toward the officers, allegedly making threats, uttering racist and homophobic slurs, and then lunging at one of the officers.
“He then bit one of the officers, started swinging at and attempting to strike them, and violently resisted as the officers attempted to place him in handcuffs,” wrote the VPD's Sgt. Steve Addison in an email to V.I.A. at the time. “Following a lengthy struggle, the officers eventually gained control of the suspect.”
B.C.'s court registry shows no criminal record for de Villiers — including any police assault charges.
On Wednesday, Addison said it would be inappropriate to comment on the suit as it is before the courts.