Businessman alleges police brutality in arrest

Ended up with bruise, fractured rib

Paula McCooey, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A downtown business owner who was dropping his 10-year-old off at school yesterday morning has accused an Ottawa police officer of brutality.

Ian Boyd, who owns Compact Music at two locations on Bank Street, claims the officer followed him from the school to a parking lot behind his place of work and assaulted him.

Ottawa police spokeswoman Staff Sgt. Monique Perras confirmed there had been a confrontation in the parking area, saying a man refused to identify himself to an officer.

"He resisted when the officer attempted to arrest him," she said. "The officer called for backup and the man was arrested and charged under the Highway Traffic Act and with resisting arrest. He was taken to the police station, charged and then released on a promise to appear."

Mr. Boyd said he usually lets his son off at First Avenue Public School's circular driveway, but yesterday he briefly stopped at the school bus loading zone because it was so cold. "Normally I drop him off at the turnaround, but my son said 'Dad, it is cold, can you drop me off at the door?'"

A police officer parked nearby approached Mr. Boyd and told him he was not allowed to have his car in that area, even when there was no school bus. Mr. Boyd said he told the officer he was "only going to (be parked there) for 10 seconds." He said the officer told him it is a $110 fine for stopping in that area, but let him off with a warning.

"I thanked the officer and told him he should speak to the guy behind me, too, because he was also parked in that area."

Mr. Boyd left and headed to his store on Bank Street near Third Avenue. When he began to get out of his car in the parking lot behind the store, he saw the same officer's cruiser.

"He followed me, but I didn't see him in my rearview mirror," said Mr. Boyd.

He said that's when the assault took place, with the officer using force to arrest him.

Mr. Boyd said he is "considering a civil suit" against the police, and intends to lodge a complaint with the Professional Standards Section of the Ottawa Police Service. He said hospital X-rays showed he had a hairline fracture to his ribs. He also had a bruise on his left cheek.

Staff Sgt. Perras said Mr. Boyd was charged with failing to stop when directed by police, failing to surrender his licence, careless driving and resisting arrest.

She said officers offered him a ride to the hospital for a checkup, but he refused, saying he'd go there on his own, once he was released.

"These are trumped-up charges," said Mr. Boyd, who said about five bystanders witnessed the incident.

"It is the most innocent thing a man can do, dropping off a child at school," he said. "And then to end up in jail with bruised ribs and a bashed face -- this is just another example of police brutality."

 The Ottawa Citizen 2006