Feisty plaintiff spars with lawyer for transit police officer accused of assault

By Susan Lazaruk, The Province September 17, 2014

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A White Rock construction worker allegedly assaulted by two transit police officers — who were also charged with fabricating evidence in the case — told their trial he did nothing to deserve the pepper-spraying and arrest.

Consts. Bruce Shipley and Alfred Wong were in Provincial Court in Vancouver on Wednesday for their trial on charges of assault, fabrication of evidence, two counts each of public mischief and breach of trust by a public officer.

The two officers are accused of assaulting Jordan Dyck, 29, on Feb. 9, 2012, on the Seymour Street steps of Granville Station and of altering their report into the incident.

Under questioning by Shipley’s lawyer, David Butcher, a combative Dyck said he was polite when he was first approached by Shipley, who told him he fit the description of someone in that area who was in distress.

“I’m going to suggest that you were aggressive and angry,” said Butcher.

“I’m going to suggest you’re wrong,” shot back Dyck.

Dyck, dressed in an orange and black plaid shirt and black tie, admitted he kicked the officers in the legs during the arrest — photos of the officers’ bruised legs were entered into evidence — but he said, “my legs were getting kicked, too.”

He also agreed with a suggestion the officers would not have been able to arrest him if they hadn’t pepper-sprayed him.

“Fair enough,” he said. “Mr. Wong did that for his own safety purposes.”

Butcher challenged Dyck’s admission on Wednesday that he knew the two officers, both in plain clothes that day, were officers, noting he told Crown prosecutor Lionel Yip the day before that he thought they were “muggers and robbers.”

“I had both of these scenarios in my mind at the time and either one wasn’t good,” said Dyck.

While Butcher was reviewing his notes in preparation for the next question, Dyck said: “You want to know what I think? I think you guys are just bailing water out of a sinking ship.”

Asked how Shipley had “pushed his buttons,” Dyck said by telling him he would be detained for 48 hours, to stand and face the wall and that he was under arrest for causing a disturbance.

When asked what else pushed his buttons, Dyck answered that an ex-roommate’s repeated failure to clean his cat’s litter box did.

Butcher paused and said: “Are you on medication now?”

“No.”

“Have you ever been on medications?”

“No,” replied Dyck. “Are you suggesting that I should be?”

Outside court, Dyck said the only defence the officers’ lawyers had was to ask him if he needed psychiatric care. “Make sure you put that in the story.”

He told The Province the officers “kept insisting I was causing a disturbance” the day of the alleged assault. “They kept pestering me until the point I finally told them what was on my mind. I started getting annoyed, one thing led to another and the next thing you know I’m under arrest for whatever reason and I put up a struggle,” leading to him being pepper-sprayed.

“I’ll never forget the burning,” he said.

He said it was unfortunate TransLink’s surveillance tapes, which were played in court on Tuesday, aren’t available to the public.

“It will show what really happened,” said Dyck outside court.

A Province application to receive a copy of the surveillance video to post online showing the events leading up to and including the struggle and arrest was dismissed in court by Judge Reg Harris, a former Vancouver police officer. He didn’t provide a reason.

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