Clip of video showing arrest of Kelowna man. (Credit: Castanet)

Kelowna man sues Mountie, province after viral arrest

Tyler Russell alleged he is now suffering from PTSD and ongoing nightmares among others

The man caught on camera being arrested in downtown Kelowna last month has filed a lawsuit against the officer who struck him multiple times.

Kelowna resident Tyler Russell filed the notice of civil claim on June 17 in B.C. Supreme Court, outlining six legal actions against the Attorney General of Canada, the B.C. Minister of Justice, and Const. Siggy Pietrzak.

In the claim, Russell alleges he was sitting in the passenger seat of his work vehicle in downtown Kelowna when he was approached by two RCMP officers. They requested that he get out of the vehicle, but the claim states he didn’t see why he needed to get out of the vehicle as he wasn’t in violation of criminal offences or city bylaws.

According to the civil claim, Russell was asked to provide a breath sample. However, he refused to provide a breath sample as he was not driving, he was not in control of the motor vehicle, and he had no car keys in his possession or near him.

The suit outlines the event which had been caught on video, showing Russell struggling with two officers when a third officer, presumably Const. Pietrzak, arrived on scene running in and punching him repeatedly.

According to the claim, Russell suffered damage to his nose, facial bruising, swelling and excessive bleeding, as well as damage to his face.

The claim also alleges Russell was unlawfully treated while at the detachment, that officers forced him to leave the hospital without receiving the care he needed and that when Russell was detained at the detachment RCMP was negligent. It also alleges his Charter Rights were breached claiming he was detained without being provided with a reason and not informed of his right to retain counsel immediately.

blackpress.tv

As a result of the incident, Russell claims he has now suffered embarrassment and suicidal ideation. He alleges he now suffers from PTSD, repeated and ongoing nightmares, anxiety, nervous shock, tenderness to his face and ribs and constant and severe migraines, among other issues.

Shortly after the video of the arrest surfaced, Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle said at a news conference that Russell was uncooperative at the time of the incident.

“Because of the difficulty in safely bringing the man under control, the officers requested a third member attend the scene,” he said.

“When the third officer arrived, he observed the man was still resisting arrest. In order to gain control of the situation, and for the safety of the officers, he was struck several times and was then taken to the ground and handcuffed.”

Cst. Pietrzak, who has been on the force for three years, has been placed on administrative duties as he undergoes an internal review, according to the detachment.

Black Press Media has reached out to the Kelowna RCMP for comment on the lawsuit.

As of Thursday at noon, no responses had been filed by any party named in the suit. An update will be provided when more information becomes available.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

READ: Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

READ: Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Influx of tourists helping to nurse Penticton’s economy back to health

The city has seen visitors multiply tenfold in recent weeks

Two vehicle crash on Highway 97 in Penticton

The crash happened before 3:30 p.m. in front of the Lakeside Inn and Suites

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Most Read