PORT MOODY - 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 response to the claim by the city and police force offers a different version of events. The response to the civil claim said Morrison arrived first at the scene and overheard a man and woman 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 response stated. The 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 a public place and causing a disturbance.
The new court 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 a 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 response state.
In the response, the city and police force claim any loss, damage, injury or expense sustained by Ramos and Ferris was caused by their own conduct. 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.
The city and the department also denied the defamation allegations in the response. None of the allegations have been proven in court. The Golden Spike Pub and Ms. Semenuik have yet to file a response.
The lawsuit also alleged Ramos, a CTV cameraman, was unable to work for a period and suffered a concussion, blurry vision, loss of memory, headaches, impaired balance, loss of concentration, reduce range of motion, stiffness, aching and soft tissue injury from the incident.
The claim said Ferris suffered nervous shock and anxiety disorder as a result of witnessing the incident. The couple also filed an official Police Act complaint in the days after the incident.
The matter has been turned over to the Professional Standards Section of the Port Moody Police Department for investigation.
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