‘Pro­lific of­fender’ sues po­lice, says he was beaten up dur­ing an ar­rest

The Province - - NEWS - KEITH FRASER kfraser@post­media.com twit­ter.com/kei­thrfraser

A man who was wanted by po­lice al­leges that he was se­verely beaten by a num­ber of Van­cou­ver cops as he was be­ing ar­rested and that the of­fi­cers cov­ered up the as­sault.

Kal­man Hlavacs, who had a war­rant out for his ar­rest for prop­erty crimes, says that on Nov. 17 last year, he was iden­ti­fied in Van­cou­ver on a SkyTrain head­ing east and that mem­bers of the Van­cou­ver po­lice depart­ment pur­sued him to the Columbia sta­tion in New West­min­ster.

In a no­tice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, he al­leges that the cops chased him on foot af­ter he got out of the SkyTrain sta­tion and when they caught him, they de­liv­ered a se­vere beat­ing with­out law­ful cause.

The VPD of­fi­cers con­spired to beat Hlavacs and to cover up the beat­ing and jointly con­cocted a false pre­text for the as­sault, the law­suit says.

“VPD mem­bers who did not phys­i­cally beat the plain­tiff ei­ther di­rected the beat­ing, en­cour­aged the beat­ing, or failed to as­sist the plain­tiff know­ing that there was no law­ful ba­sis for the beat­ing,” it says.

“VPD mem­bers failed to take ac­cu­rate notes and make ac­cu­rate records, and through their de­lib­er­ate mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions or si­lence, know­ingly en­abled a coverup of the beat­ing.”

Hlavacs, who has a se­ries of con­vic­tions for break and en­ter, says he suf­fered a con­cus­sion, in­tracra­nial bleed­ing and re­lated cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment and a bro­ken nose.

He also claims the as­sault left him with a per­ma­nent loss of his sense of smell, per­ma­nent ring­ing in his ears, per­ma­nently blurred vi­sion, slowed and slurred speech and cuts and bruises.

Hlavacs, cur­rently serv­ing a jail term for break and en­ter, is seek­ing un­spec­i­fied gen­eral, spe­cial, ag­gra­vated and puni­tive dam­ages.

“The VPD mem­bers used un­law­ful and ex­ces­sive force to ar­rest the plain­tiff and they are li­able to com­pen­sate the plain­tiff for his in­juries and loss of in­come and earn­ing ca­pac­ity,” says the suit.

Ja­son Gratl, a lawyer for Hlavacs, said his client is a “pro­lific of­fender” but there was no ba­sis for what he called an “ex­tra­ju­di­cial pun­ish­ment” de­liv­ered by po­lice.

Ten of­fi­cers are named as de­fen­dants in the law­suit, which con­tains al­le­ga­tions that have not been tested in court. No re­sponse has yet been filed to the law­suit.

A spokesman for the Van­cou­ver po­lice said there would be no com­ment as the mat­ter is be­fore the courts.

“The VPD mem­bers used un­law­ful and ex­ces­sive force to ar­rest the plain­tiff.” — Kal­man Hlavacs law­suit

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