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Bobcaygeon barber suing Peterborough OPP and Crown

Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:22 am

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/

Re: Bobcaygeon barber suing Peterborough OPP and Crown

Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:29 am

OPP and Crown respond to $1.25 million lawsuit

Three Peterborough County OPP officers, the Attorney General of Ontario, and Jim Hughes, have responded to $1.25 million dollar lawsuit against them.

PETERBOROUGH -- Three Peterborough County OPP officers, the Attorney General of Ontario, and Crown attorney Jim Hughes, have responded to a $1.25 million lawsuit against them.

Bobcaygeon barber Stephen Clarke filed a statement of claim against the parties in Toronto courts in November, seeking $500,000 from OPP and $500,000 from the Attorney General’s office. Mr. Clarke claims he was assaulted by Constable Jason Katz and Constable Mike Davidson in December 2011 when he was pulled over at R.I.D.E check on County Road 29, near Woodland Drive. Mr. Clarke, 58 years of age at the time, was charged with failing to identify himself, pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, and assault with intent to resist arrest. He claims assistant Crown attorney Jim Hughes coerced him to pleading guilty to an $80 fine for failing to identify himself. While the defendants haven’t filed a statement of defense in response to the allegations, they have filed a motion to have parts of Mr. Clarke’s claims removed from the case.


“This is no surprise,” Mr. Clarke says.

“It is just staggering that no one wants to acknowledge responsibility.”

Most notably, the motion seeks to dismiss the action against Mr. Hughes and OPP Staff Sergeant Brad Rathburn. According to the court file, Mr. Clarke is barred by stature from suing individual Crown attorneys in respect to any act done or omitted to be done while in the performance of a duty in relation to prosecution.

“The only action available to the plaintiff (Mr. Clarke) arising out of a prosecution is malicious prosecution, a key element of which is that the criminal proceeding resolved in favour of the plaintiff,” the motion reads.

“The criminal proceeding did not resolve in favour of the plaintiff, and therefore the claim disclosed no reasonable cause of action against the Attorney General of Ontario.”

Mr. Clarke says he has agreed to remove Mr. Hughes from the claim but will still go after the Attorney General of Ontario. As well, Mr. Clarke will not remove Sgt. Rathburn from the claim, as requested in the motion.

“This is just bully tactic after bully tactic to squash any member of the public,” he explains.

“We pay them to ensure we have justice in our lives and we are that last people to receive justice.”

The request to remove Sgt. Rathburn from the claim is based on lack of involvement in the incident, only being the sergeant in charge when Mr. Clarke was brought back to the Peterborough detachment.

“The claim is entirely bald and discloses no reasonable cause of action the name defendant Brad Rathburn,” the motion states.

Furthermore, there’s motion to remove a large portion of Mr. Clarke’s statements in the claim, saying they’re irrelevant, immaterial, scandalous, embarrassing, argumentative or containing the pleading of evidence, opinion or unsupported legal conclusion.

“If the judge allows that, my case is over,” Mr. Clarke says.

“Sure it sound inflammatory, but how else do you explain the story and portray what happened that night?”

The motion will go before a judge in Toronto on March 7.

http://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/43 ... n-lawsuit/
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