A man who tried to sue the Victoria Police Department has had his claim dismissed by a Supreme Court Justice. (Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca)

Judge dismisses Victoria man’s claim of wrongful arrest by VicPD

The arrest occurred after the man’s daughter made allegations of sexual offences

A man who tried to sue the City of Victoria and the Victoria Police Department for wrongful arrest made more than a decade ago has had his claim dismissed in the Supreme Court of B.C.

The judgment, posted online on June 10, outlines an arrest made on a man identified by M.P.W. after his ex-wife, identified only with the initials N.W., made complaints to the Ministry of Children and Family Development about M.P.W. being sexually inappropriate with their daughter.

VicPD officers interviewed the child, who made a “number of disclosures that describe inappropriate sexual behaviors.” Detective Mark Knoop is named in the ruling as being the officer who decided M.P.W. should be arrested without a warrant. Const. Cory Moore arrested M.P.W. on Nov. 20, 2010. A couple hours later M.P.W. was released and no charges were ever pressed.

READ ALSO: VicPD officer used siren, emergency lights to get kids to school: OPCC report

M.P.W. claimed he was wrongfully arrested and detained, and that Knoop conducted a negligent investigation. M.P.W. sought damages for the injuries he said he received during the arrest and detention.

Recordings from interviews between police and N.W. and the child were shown in court. Knoop testified that N.W. presented as a “normal concerned and worried parent” and did not appear “vindictive or out to get her ex-husband.” Knoop made the decision to arrest because he felt M.P.W. was a danger to his daughter.

M.P.W. testified that before he was arrested outside his apartment complex, he received a call from N.W. who told him “something very bad was going to happen to him” and that it was because he wouldn’t let her take the child to Russia. M.P.W. said he remembered telling police there was no need to handcuff him because he was “not a flight risk and was unable to run away.” When he was asked to get into the police car, he told the officers he was not able to due to physical disabilities. At some point, a larger police vehicle arrived and he was able to get into it.

READ ALSO: Police board requests racial, gender analysis of Victoria police force

According to the ruling, Moore did not recall M.P.W. telling him he was not a flight risk or asking him not to use handcuffs.

M.P.W. asserted that he and N.W. were in a “hotly contested custody dispute” and that her complaint to the ministry was made “in the middle of a custody dispute” and that she was seeking to “get an unfair advantage.” He added that Knoop profited from his action and speculated that “by gaming the system, he was able to get positive performance reviews, promotions, chosen for advancement and positions, increase in pay and therefore increases in his pensions.”

In her reasons for judgment, Justice Carla Forth stated it was not her role to make a finding on whether M.P.W. was guilty of the alleged sexual offences, but whether the police had reasonable grounds for making the arrest.

“The safety of a young child became paramount when Det. Knoop believed the allegations made, which were serious and of a sexual nature. For these reasons, I cannot find that Det. Knoop believed on reasonable grounds that the public interest could be satisfied without arresting the plaintiff,” reads the judgment.

Forth dismissed the claim for negligence and wrongful arrests against both officers.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca


Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Victoria

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read