Bobcaygeon barber suing police and Crown
Stephen Clarke feels like he’s been raped.
After enjoying dinner with friends in Peterborough on Dec. 3, 2011, Mr. Clarke says was assaulted by Peterborough County OPP officers when he was pulled over at R.I.D.E check on County Road 29, near Woodland Drive, around 10:50 p.m.
“I now know what it is like to be raped,” says the Bobcaygoen barber.
“Even know though I wasn’t raped, when you are dragged out of your vehicle and jumped on, you are helpless.”
Mr. Clarke is suing the OPP, naming three Peterborough detachment officers, and the Attorney General of Ontario, Jim Hughes. He is seeking $500, 000 from OPP and $500,000 from the Attorney General’s office, as Mr. Hughes has since retired.
His allegations have not been proven in court and This Week has not been able to obtain the statement of defence for Mr. Hughes or the OPP.
“It is so corrupt,” Mr. Clarke says.
“You can not get justice at the provincial court in Peterborough because everyone is cop friendly.”
According to a statement of claim, Mr. Clarke approached the R.I.D.E thinking it was a crash scene on Woodland Dr. He says he saw an officer, later identified as Constable Jason Katz, in the middle of the roadway waving traffic forward. Mr. Clarke says he interpreted the officers’ actions as telling him to proceed with caution, so he slowed down and put his window down. As Mr. Clarke slowly passed Const. Katz, the claim states that the officer yelled “Where the f**k do you think you’re going?” and that is when Mr. Clarke says the horror show began.
“My mind went into Alice in Wonderland; it is indescribable,” he explains.
According to the claim, the threatening words of Const. Katz became scary actions when, after trying the door handle and finding it locked, he lunged through the Mr. Clarke’s open window and pinned his neck and chin against the back of his seat with his right arm, choking Mr. Clarke. Furthermore, the statement says that Const. Katz struck Mr. Clarke in the face three times with his elbow and Constable Mike Davidson smashed the passenger side window, before he was dragged out of the car and thrown to the ground where he was roughly handcuffed.
“It is just shocks you and there’s nothing you can do,” Mr. Clarke says.
“Here’s these two guys that weigh between 400 and 500 pounds between them, and me weighing 150 pounds and they are using absolute force against me.”
The claim states Mr. Clarke suffered cuts to his face, and injuries to his knee, ankle, Achilles tendon, shoulder and neck in the process of arrest, and is now living an impaired lifestyle.
“Five minutes those cops had their fun with me and now I am looking at thousands of dollars and my work life cut short,” he explains.
Mr. Clarke, 58 years of old at the time, was charged with failing to identify himself, pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, and assault with intent to resist arrest, pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada. He says his nightmare didn’t end that day. Rather, it continued when he had to go to court. He says he was told by the assistant Crown attorney in Peterborough courts, James Hughes, that if he were to plead guilty they would be seeking a fine, but if he chose to go to trial the Crown would be seeking time, not to mention the expenses in legal fees. Though he knew he was innocent and wanted to fight his case he was financially restrained from retaining a learned counsel capable of handling his case and so the words of the Assistant Crown Attorney did succeed in coercing him to plead guilty to an $80 fine for failing to identify himself.
“I was threatened by the Crown,” Mr. Clarke says.
He adds that he wouldn’t have lasted a month in jail.
“I would lose my home, my business and my life would be over in six weeks.”
Mr. Clarke is also seeking $250,000 in aggravated damages and an public apology. Whether he is granted claim or not, Mr. Clarke doesn’t see justice being served.
“All we can do is try to extract money and maybe they will say we need to stop the leakage. It won’t be anything but a moral victory; we have to stop these guys from attacking the public.”http://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/43 ... and-crown/