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Friday, November 09, 2007

Judge releases security tape as Vancouver cop testifies at his assault trial

November 9, 2007
CBC News

A Vancouver police constable accused of using excessive force during a nightclub arrest testified in court on Thursday, while a provincial judge released a surveillance tape that shows part of the incident. Const. Trever Lowe is being tried on charges of assault and assault with a weapon in connection with an arrest he made at the Stone Temple nightclub on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver in June 2005. Lowe, 30, testified he was working an overtime shift the night of the incident with the Taser and was taking antibiotics at the time for a chest infection that caused him to become tired and easily winded. The officer said he was wearing a knee brace after suffering a training injury. When asked why he accepted the extra shift given his health and physical problems, Lowe admitted he needed the money, which was double his usual salary, and that he didn't think the problems were limiting.

Lowe testified he zapped nightclub patron Carlo D'Ambrosio with a Taser three times for what he called "assaultive behaviour," meaning the patron was drunk, swearing and had repeatedly ignored the officer's commands and had resisted arrest. Lowe was a relatively junior constable and had completed his police training 19 months before the incident, the court heard. In releasing the surveillance video on Thursday, the judge told the court that it was time delayed and not everything from the evening of the incident was captured. The tape is also grainy and the lightning was bad, the judge said. The video shows Lowe taking D'Ambrosio — who is handcuffed behind his back — out of the nightclub and throwing him to the pavement. At that point, Lowe had already used the Taser on D'Ambrosio three times. The video then shows D'Ambrosio ending up face down on Granville Street and Lowe getting on top of him with his knees.

D'Ambrosio testified on Monday that Lowe took him down the stairs to the entrance of the club and shocked him with the Taser three times. After receiving the jolts and in a delirious state, D'Ambrosio said, he was taken outside and slammed to the sidewalk, where the officer got on top of him with his knees on his chest. Lowe testified on Thursday that D'Ambrosio was drunk and acting aggressive. He was warned, asked to leave and when he wouldn't he was arrested and handcuffed, Lowe said. Lowe, who ended up alone with D'Ambrosio, said he felt the only way to protect other patrons and himself was to apply the Taser. As for the throw down, Lowe testified it was necessary because even after the Taser was used, D'Ambrosio continued to verbally and physically abuse the him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patti: Could you call me (250-374-7467)? I'm a reporter in Kamloops writing on Zofia's son. Jurek tells me you and your mother are coming to the celebration of Robert's life. I'd like to talk to you about this issue.