‘Joker’ says he was shot in the back, Tasered by po­lice at night­club and now wants money

Sunday Herald Sun - - Front Page - DAVID HUR­LEY

VIC­TO­RIA Po­lice is be­ing sued over a shoot­ing at a night­club with claims it will be “the most sig­nif­i­cant’’ po­lice shoot­ing com­pen­sa­tion ac­tion in Vic­to­ria’s his­tory.

Dale Ewins and Zita Sukys — both shot at King St night­club In­fla­tion on July 8 — have told the Sun­day Herald Sun they hope the force “im­proves the train­ing of po­lice of­fi­cers han­dling guns”.

The duo — dressed as comic book vil­lains The Joker and Har­ley Quinn — say po­lice punched Mr Ewins in the face and Tasered him sev­eral times after he had been shot.

Of­fi­cers then al­legedly stood on his hands and threw him against a wall. A state­ment of claim will be lodged with the Supreme Court to­mor­row.

Kim Price, part­ner at Arnold Thomas & Becker, said: “Vic­to­ria Po­lice are ex­tremely for­tu­nate that they do not have the death of Mr Ewins on their hands.

“Th­ese are the most sig­nif­i­cant po­lice shoot­ing com­pen­sa­tion claims in the his­tory of the state of Vic­to­ria,’’ Mr Price said.

Po­lice said Mr Ewins aimed a firearm, later re­vealed as a toy gun, at of­fi­cers.

But the 35-year-old says po­lice ap­proached him from be­hind and he never bran­dished the toy gun.

Crit­i­cal In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team mem­bers fired on the cou­ple as they were en­gaged in an act at the “Saints and Sin­ners” party.

A spokesman for Vic­to­ria Po­lice said it con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the shoot­ing.

IT was a cold win­ter’s morn­ing but the tem­per­a­ture in­side In­fla­tion night­club was ris­ing in the early hours of July 8.

A Saints and Sin­ners party — a reg­u­lar event on the Mel­bourne swing­ing scene and at­tended by hun­dreds of cou­ples — was well un­der way and rev­ellers in skimpy fancy dress were par­ty­ing hard.

Dale Ewins and Zita Sukys had gone dressed up as comic book cou­ple The Joker and Har­ley Quinn.

The loved-up pair were seen on CCTV laugh­ing and jok­ing with bar staff at the King St venue. Mr Ewins is seen play­fully bran­dish­ing a toy gun.

Un­known to him, po­lice were watch­ing him on a mon­i­tor in a ground-floor of­fice. They had re­ceived a call about a man armed with a gun at the club. It is un­der­stood the of­fi­cers had been told by club se­cu­rity the gun was a plas­tic replica.

At 1.24am two po­lice of­fi­cers had been in­side the club and were also cap­tured on cam­era.

Those of­fi­cers were seen en­joy­ing the at­ten­tion of sev­eral women and danc­ing and hug­ging fe­male pa­trons.

At 3.53am, 10 armed mem­bers of the Crit­i­cal In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team formed a group out­side the en­trance of the club.

They quickly climbed the stairs to the first floor.

Ac­cord­ing to the two state­ment of claim doc­u­ments that set out the le­gal case of Mr Ewins and Ms Sukys: “Mr Ewins was kneel­ing in front of (Ms Sukys) ... fac­ing her ... with his back to the ap­proach­ing po­lice mem­bers.”

Mr Ewins was shot twice in his back and Ms Sukys was shot twice in her leg.

In his le­gal ac­tion against Vic­to­ria Po­lice, Mr Ewins claims he was wrong­fully im­pris­oned for four days at the hos­pi­tal.

A Vic­to­ria Po­lice spokesman said: “Po­lice con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the shoot­ing.

“At this time, no one has been charged in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­mains on­go­ing.”

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