A month after a lawsuit was launched over an arrest caught on video at a Port Moody pub, the city and police force have responded to the allegations.
In a response to the claim filed by Herbert Ramos and Tracey Ferris in B.C. Supreme Court that included allegations of assault, the City of Port Moody and the three police department members named in the suit have denied all the allegations. The response to the civil claim was filed on Aug. 14.
The lawsuit stemmed from an incident and arrest on July 6 at the Golden Spike Pub.
The incident came to light after a video surfaced appearing to show an officer using substantial force during an arrest outside the pub. In the video, a man who appears to be an officer is seen grabbing another man from behind in the neck area before slamming him into the ground.
According to the notice of civil claim filed on July 15, the lawsuit alleges officer Ian Morrison assaulted Ramos and is liable for assault and battery, negligence and gross negligence.
However, the city and police force's claim offers a different version of events. The response to the civil claim said Morrison arrived first at the scene and overheard a couple being abusive and yelling obscenities.
It appeared the man, later identified as Ramos, was attempting to engage staff at the pub in a physical altercation, the claim stated.
The new court documents alleged that witnesses told Morrison that Ramos and Ferris had pushed and assaulted staff members and threatened staff members with assault.
The response also stated Morrison advised Ramos he was under arrest for being drunk in public place and causing a disturbance.
The new documents allege at the time Ramos pulled away from Morrison and was advised by the officer to stop pulling away and calm down. Ramos allegedly turned toward Morrison and raised his arm.
"Morrison believed Ramos was positioning himself to physically engage Morrison. As result, Morrison engaged a throw technique to put Ramos onto the ground on his back where he was then handcuffed and escorted to the Port Moody police cells," the documents state.
In their response, the city and police force claim any loss, damage, injury or expense sustained by the Ramos and Ferris was caused by their own conduct.
Mayor Mike Clay offered this statement regarding the lawsuit: "Obviously, neither the city nor the department likes to see an event of this sort take place, but it is important to remember that the police have a difficult job to do, in a very dynamic environment and their first response is for the safety of the public and themselves. While the investigation is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time - we believe our statement speaks for itself ." The notice of civil claim also alleges the City of Port Moody, Chief Constable Chris Rattenbury, media spokesperson Luke van Winkel, the Golden Spike Pub and the pub's manager and part owner Cheryl Semenuik are liable in defamation.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
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