Teacher taking SkyTrain cops to civil court
By Mike Howell-Staff writer
A 27-year-old teacher who claims two SkyTrain cops tackled her last fall and hit her in the eye with a flashlight is furious with the justice system after learning the Crown decided not to proceed with charges against the cops.
Christy Logeman, a special education teacher in Vancouver, required facial reconstructive surgery after last November’s incident, near the Stadium SkyTrain station, said her lawyer Michael Mines.
Logeman learned Wednesday the assault charges had been dropped, but a message left Thursday for Crown counsel spokesman Geoff Gaul was not returned to the Courier before deadline to explain the decision.
“She’s irate,” said Mines, who’s launched a civil suit against TransLink and the special constables on Logeman’s behalf.
According to Mines, the two SkyTrain special constables rushed Logeman from behind, pinned her to the ground and then one of them struck her with a flashlight in the face.
At the time, Mines said, Logeman was chasing her boyfriend after he stole her wallet and keys. The boyfriend, who had a court-imposed no-contact order with Logeman, took her belongings after she refused to allow him to go home with her, Mines said.
She was tackled just after she took a swing at her boyfriend with a shopping bag containing sandals. Logeman suffered a broken bone around the eye and continues to receive medical care for her injury, he said.
Mines noted his client was initially charged with assaulting the SkyTrain cops, but the charge was dropped after the SkyTrain cops couldn’t prove to Crown how Logeman specifically suffered the injury. The boyfriend was not charged.
In a rare court procedure, Logeman was then successful in getting provincial court judge Jocelyn Palmer to approve assault charges against the SkyTrain cops.
The Crown, however, decided not to proceed with the charges based on a recommendation from a Vancouver city cop investigating the incident. No
date has been set for the civil trial.
TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said Mines’ purpose in contacting the media is to simply seek publicity and get Logeman’s name published in the Courier.
“If she’s going to proceed with the suit, why is she looking for publicity as well?” Hardie said. “TransLink and the special constables will deal with this where it should be, and that is in court.”
Hardie wouldn’t comment on the incident, but cautioned that Logeman’s story is simply based on claims at this point. He did, however, say SkyTrain cops often don’t know who is the “bad guy” or “good guy” when responding to an altercation.
“All we know is that there are two people going at each other, and in some cases it’s necessary to simply separate them and treat everybody the same way.”
TransLink employs about 70 SkyTrain cops, the majority of them retired RCMP and city cops. With about 52 million boardings a year on SkyTrain, Hardie said his office receives about 10 complaints a year of alleged wrongdoing regarding SkyTrain cops.
The New Westminster police department has an agreement with TransLink to investigate all complaints against SkyTrain cops-unlike the province’s municipal police departments, who are investigated by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
New Westminster police continue to investigate the allegations against the SkyTrain cops in the Logeman incident, Hardie said.