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