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