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Cyclist hit by B.C. cop car sues, police say cyclist at fault

Police admit to hitting the cyclist, but say it was justified in attempt to pull him over and prevent him fleeing
The Victoria Police Department is disputing a man's small claims court filing that seeks damages after a police car knocked him off an e-bike.

The Victoria Police Department (VicPD) is disputing a small claims lawsuit filed by a cyclist knocked off an e-bike by a police car in January 2023 during an attempted traffic stop after the rider ran a red light. 

Alkido Pashollari's suit seeks $16,500 in combined damages, including $10,000 for pain and suffering, $3,500 for the bike and $3,000 for lost wages after he missed two weeks of work.

Police argue Pashollari was attempting to flee, while Pashollari says he misunderstood the officer's intent.

Pashollari was arrested during the incident, eventually pleading guilty to one minor charge and having several others dropped. He received probation and in his sentencing the Crown prosecutor made note of the fact the guilty plea avoided lengthy testimony on police use of force that was planned by Pashollari's lawyer. 

The lawsuit filed by Pashollari said he was travelling through the intersection of Gorge Road and Harriet Road (court records from the criminal proceeding put it at Gorge and Jutland) when Const. Jennifer Gilroy turned her car's lights and sirens on in an attempt to get him to stop. 

Pashollari's suit says he assumed the officer was going to pass, and so he continued riding. 

Moments later, the officer drove up next to Pashollari and veered into the e-bike. According to court documents, Pashollari then hit a curb, "launching him off the bike onto a patch of grass."

Pahollari was arrested and the bike confiscated. When he complained of a sore shoulder to police, an ambulance was called for him. Pashollari's suit says that it was then discovered he had a dislocated shoulder.

Pashollari's side of the story was filed in small claims court on Jan. 27, 2023, three weeks after the incident. VicPD sent a response on April 6, 2023 denying "each and every allegation." 

Fast forward to last Thursday (June 14) and the police filed an amended claim, written this time by attorney Erik Grobler.

Grobler challenges the lawsuit on legal and jurisdictional grounds, arguing it should be the City of Victoria being sued, not the police department, as well as arguing police were acting within the "scope of their employment." He also blames Pashollari for the incident.

"If the Plaintiff suffered injury, loss, damage, or expense as alleged, this was caused, or contributed to, by the Plaintiff's own wrongful or negligent conduct," Grabler argues.

The Crown prosecutor in the criminal case also said Pashollari was at fault for initiating a dangerous situation. Because of his guilty plea, no arguments on whether the use of force was appropriate were made in court.

It is not clear if Pashollari wants to take the issue further. He was technically required to file a certificate of readiness within six months of the incident to be able to take the matter to a settlement conference. He has not done that yet — it has been roughly 18 months — but still could be eligible for an extension if he does wish to proceed.

Pashollari could not be reached for an answer to this question, and a VicPD spokesperson said that the department could not comment or provide any more information on an ongoing civil claim.

About the Author: Mark Page

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