John Colebourn (Vancouver Province) – A Surrey Mountie remains on administrative duties following a stay of proceedings in his assault charges.
The lawyer for Surrey RCMP Const. Imran Saeed successfully argued in B.C. Provincial Court that the charges should be stayed because they have taken too long to get to trial. The judge’s decision in Chilliwack was made Monday.
Saeed, 31, was charged with two counts of assault in connection with an incident that took place following a domestic disturbance call on May 19, 2009.
It was alleged that Saeed assaulted two men, Christopher Gilmore and Christopher Stojak.
The first alleged assault was on Gilmore, and the second alleged assault took place after Stojak, who was handcuffed in the back of a police car, used his cellphone to call 911.
Stojak has filed a lawsuit against Saeed, Surrey RCMP and two other officers.
Defence lawyer Maegan Richards said there was a 30-month delay on a second investigation conducted by RCMP shortly before Saeed’s case was set to go to trial last summer.
Because of new disclosures, the trial was delayed until this week. Richards said the re-investigation duplicated the work that was initially done before Saeed was charged in November 2009.
Following the stay of the charges, Surrey RCMP Insp. Bob Couture on Tuesday said an internal RCMP review will be conducted into Saeed’s conduct during that May 2009 incident.
“He remains assigned to administrative duties until our own adjudication process takes place,” said Couture. “The date has yet to be determined.”
Couture said they have a number of options with the disciplinary pro-cess. “There could be a monetary fine, a reprimand or even dismiss-al,” he said.
Stojak is suing the RCMP officer in charge of the Surrey detachment, claiming officials should have known Saeed’s previous aggressions made him a danger to the public.
Court documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court by Stojak’s lawyer claim Saeed allegedly assaulted Stojak the night of May 19, 2009, as the Surrey man sat cuffed in a police cruiser.
Saeed had, just three months earlier, allegedly dragged Trina Westad of Surrey from her car and slammed her to the ground following a routine traffic stop. A lawsuit for that matter is before the courts.
According to the statement of claim, Saeed punched Stojak in the head and face at least three times after officers attended Stojak’s residence in response to an alleged domestic disturbance.
Before Saeed arrived at the scene, the writ claims, Stojak was verbally and physically assaulted by two other constables also named in the civil suit in addition to Saeed.
Combined, the beatings resulted in injuries to Stojak’s wrists, neck, face, left shoulder and hand, as well as depression, anxiety, embarrassment and shame, fear of police and post-traumatic stress, claims the suit.
Stojak is seeking unspecified damages.
Also named is the minister of public safety, the solicitor-general and the officer in charge of the Surrey detachment, who is not listed by name.
The writ accuses the officer in charge of the detachment of negligence for failing to properly monitor or train Saeed in the wake of the alleged February 2009 assault on Westad.
Saeed, 31, was reassigned to administrative duties with the Surrey RCMP on July 24, 2009.
He has entered a not-guilty plea in the alleged assault on Westad and elected to be tried by a provincial court judge.