Former Osoyoos man files lawsuit against RCMP officer

The man suing the Town of Osoyoos, the province of B.C. a suspended police officer and the RCMP said he isn’t backing down.

Stephen Condon

Stephen Condon

The man suing the Town of Osoyoos, the province of B.C. a suspended police officer and the RCMP said he isn’t backing down.

Stephen Condon had to leave Osoyoos in 2012 due to what he said was a wrongful arrest, slander and infliction of emotional and psychological harm caused by suspended RCMP Const. Amit Goyal, and he hopes to find justice with his lawsuit filed on June 2.

“If I have to, I’ll go to Ottawa. I’ll go higher up than that,” Condon said. “I’m not about to back down right now, and I don’t think I should back down. I’m going to be a bulldog in this whole situation until I think it’s fair.”

The statement of claim filed June 2 in New Westminster Supreme Court alleges multiple incidents from 2011 until November 2012 where former Osoyoos RCMP Const. Goyal, who is currently suspended with pay awaiting a July 28 Code of Conduct hearing with the RCMP in Vancouver, harassed Condon on multiple occasions and framed him for the theft and arson of two vehicles.

At this time, the allegations are unproven as no court or tribunal has found any RCMP Code of Conduct infractions nor have any criminal charges been filed against Goyal.

The statement of claim alleges on Oct. 31, 2012 a 2009 black Audi S5 owned by Goyal was reported stolen from Collision Craft Auto in Osoyoos. The burnt remains of the Audi were discovered in the outskirts of Osoyoos in the spring of 2013. It also alleges on Nov. 5, 2012 a Ford Ranger on loan to Goyal from Collision Craft Auto was reported stolen from the auto body shop. The burnt remains of the vehicle were discovered in the outskirts of Osoyoos as well.

The court documents put forward by Condon state RCMP members of the Trail detachment were assigned to investigate the matter and alleges Goyal “falsely and maliciously told other members of the RCMP and investigators that he (Condon) had stolen and burnt the Audi and Ford because of previous interactions between them.”

The documents also outline instances where Goyal allegedly arrested Condon for driving a vehicle without the owner’s permission. Condon claims the owner had consented to the use. He also alleges during a New Year’s eve party in 2011, Goyal attended the Ridge Brewing Pub and told Condon he had received a report about people dealing drugs. Condon denied the allegations and, according to the documents, contacted the owner of another pub where Goyal said the allegations came from and the owner said they did not make a call to the police.

Condon said he filed a formal complaint against Goyal in relation to the incident, but no action was taken.

The documents outline an instance where Condon, who has a prior criminal record, was serving an intermittent jail sentence at the Osoyoos RCMP detachment where Goyal was present. Goyal allegedly mocked Condon about the murder of his friend Tom Gisby in Mexico in April of 2012. Goyal allegedly laughed at Condon and said something to the effect of “Ha, your buddy got it.”

The suit is seeking general, special, punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages, and while the list of defendants including the Attorney General are daunting, Condon’s lawyer Paul Evans said its more of a technicality when suing a police officer.

“You have to name the municipality under the Police Act when you sue a police officer,” Evans said. “Likewise for the Crown, when you sue the police in British Columbia you have to name the Crown as a party.”

He said they are waiting for more details to come out from the investigation by Trail RCMP into the two vehicles found burned outside of Osoyoos. That investigation led to three intensive and lengthy interrogations of Condon by RCMP, according to the statement of claim, including one where Condon allegedly passed a polygraph (lie detector) test.

While Evans said there will be a representative at the Code of Conduct hearing for Goyal, he’s unsure how long it will take for a decision.

Condon will be in attendance at the public hearing as well, with the support of friends, family and lawyers, he said.

“I’m going to fight and I’m going to push it. We’ll see what happens at this hearing, see what happens with my lawsuit,” Condon said.