Kamloops man suing Mounties for 2010 incident that saw him held at gunpoint, arrested

Cops sued for violent arrest

A Kamloops man says he has been unable to hold down a job since 2010, when he was held at gunpoint and violently arrested by Mounties outside a Brocklehurst school.

Michael McLellan is suing two police officers and the RCMP, alleging their “gross negligence” left him permanently injured, out of work and, at times, homeless.

McLellan was 31 on Feb. 10, 2010, when his job as a youth worker took him to the campus of Twin Rivers Education Centre on Holt Street, south of Tranquille Road near the west end of McArthur Island.

Court heard McLellan was working as a 24-hour live-in caregiver for troubled youth. One of his clients, a student at TREC, was in trouble — accused of threatening a teacher and being in possession of a knife.

McLellan said he left the school with the teen. The two were in the school’s parking lot when police arrived.

“I think I had just got to my car when I heard the first siren,” he said on Monday, the first day of his civil trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Court heard McLellan was held at gunpoint and directed onto his hands and knees. Mounties ordered he crawl toward them, then a constable placed a knee on his back, allegedly causing injury.

“He put a foot up and said, ‘Stop — you’re doing it wrong.’ He said, ‘I want you to crawl onto your belly,’ which I did, hands out to the side, which I did,” he said.

“I laid there, arms out to the side. A police officer that was standing in front of me ran and jumped over top of me and landed with their knee in the small of my back.”

Throughout the interaction with police, court heard, McLellan was holding a badge identifying himself as a youth care worker.

McLellan said he was then forcefully handcuffed. When he complained about back pain, McLellan said he was dropped onto his face by a police officer.

“The officer released his grasp on the handcuffs and dropped me face-first onto the ground,” he said. “He left me writhing in pain for minutes.”

Court heard McLellan has not been able to hold a job since the incident. He has been homeless at times and now lives with his mother.

He claims to have suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries as a result of the incident.

Once an avid baseball player, McLellan said he has also been unable to play baseball competitively since the incident.

McLellan’s lawsuit names RCMP constables Carla Peters and Evan Elgee as defendants. Elgee was one of a handful of city Mounties implicated in a well-documented 2010 incident during which officers watched two female prisoners engage in sex acts behind bars at the Kamloops RCMP detachment.

Both Elgee and Peters have since moved on from the Kamloops detachment.

On Monday, lawyers on both sides asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves for an order prohibiting the publication of news stories about the trial.

The lawyers said news coverage could negatively impact witness testimony. Groves turned down the request, but did make an order banning the publication of the teenager’s name and the name of the company for which McLellan worked at the time of the incident.

McLellan’s trial is scheduled to last three weeks.

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