Kamloops man to file complaint against police officer who allegedly assaulted him during arrest - InfoNews

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Kamloops man to file complaint against police officer who allegedly assaulted him during arrest

Norman Luczak, 67, is now moving forward with a formal complaint against a Kamloops police officer for allegedly assaulting him during an arrest.
July 11, 2019 - 3:19 PM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops man plans to file a complaint against a RCMP officer after he says he was arrested and then assaulted trying to give three friends a ride home.

It all started on the evening of October 12, 2018, when Norman Luczak, 67, agreed to give his friend a ride and help drive his vehicle back from a residence in Westsyde. Luczak asked his friend, Melinda Austin, to help drive one of the vehicles back.

Luczak and Austin arrived at the residence at around 6:30 p.m. When they got there, they noticed a police officer was already outside of the home.

While waiting for his friend to finish speaking with police, Luczak got out of his car to have a cigarette and was told by the officer to return to his vehicle and was asked to give his name.

“I said ‘Sorry, with all due respect I’m under no legal obligation to tell you that information’” he says.

Luczak says he was threatened with arrest for obstruction of justice and denied he was hindering a police investigation.

He ended up being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. The officer approached Austin who was waiting inside the vehicle and told her if he cooperated, gave police his name and answered questions he said he would let Luczak go.

Luczak says the officer called for back up and another officer arrived on the scene. The second officer who arrived told Luczak to step out of the police vehicle.

Austin says she was told by the officers to leave, but she didn't because she was worried about Luczak's well-being.

"I didn't want to leave because I wanted to see if they were going to let Norm go," she says, adding her passengers were also requesting they leave.

"I had a bad feeling about this," Austin said right before she witnessed Luczak being pulled out of the police vehicle.

"The cop grabbed him and slammed him into the side of the passenger door of the car," she says.

Austin says this was the last thing she witnessed before she was told to leave.

"My passengers were panicking and the cop yelled that I had to leave," Austin says. "I was extremely worried for Norm I had no idea what they were going to do to him."

Luczak says the officer had asked him to get out of the vehicle and he was struggling to scoot out with handcuffs on.

“He grabs me by the handcuffs, drags me out," Luczak says. “(The officer) grabs my arms and then starts pushing them as hard as he can (behind my back) and at this point I’m just screaming.”

Luczak says he was also placed in a chokehold by the officer when the cop said, "I'm going to rip your head off."

"I was already in the police car handcuffed," he says. "There was no need for that."

Luczak says he was held in Kamloops RCMP cells for around seven hours before he was released the next day with no charges.

"At 7 a.m. I walked home from the police station, no explanation, no charges, nothing," he says.

The next day, Luczak went to the hospital to be examined. His medical report says he suffered a strained arm and still had handcuff marks embedded in both wrists.

In January, Luczak decided to file a complaint against the two officers to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.

He received a written apology from the officer who arrested him and was supposed to receive the other officer's written apology by June 27.

"I was going to leave it at just the letter of apology but I didn't get that," he says. "An apology would have been fine. It would have been the end of that because they would have at least acknowledged they did wrong."

Luczak says he is now moving forward with a formal complaint to be investigated. He recently had his interview with the Civillian Review and Complaints Comission for the RCMP.

"It's hard to believe these things can happen," he says.

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says police cannot comment on complaint cases that have not concluded.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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