Photo taken from a surveillance video being used in a civil suit filed against the Kelowna RCMP.

Photo taken from a surveillance video being used in a civil suit filed against the Kelowna RCMP.

Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check investigation faces third lawsuit

Lawsuit calls the actions of Const. Lacey Browning and the RCMP reckless, arrogant, high-handed and abusive

A third person has filed a civil lawsuit against Kelowna Mountie Lacey Browning, accusing the constable of assaulting and threatening him in front of his five-year-old son.

Browning is currently the subject of a high-profile criminal investigation into a wellness check at UBC Okanagan in January, in which she was seen dragging nursing student Mona Wang down a hallway at her residence and stepping on her head. Wang is currently suing Browning, the Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor in relation to the incident.

A second woman filed a suit against Browning shortly after Wang’s story made national news. Fiona Read alleges Browning assaulted her after she sought help from the officer while walking home from a party in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2016.

READ MORE: UBCO student sues Kelowna RCMP officer for alleged assault during wellness check

READ MORE: Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check lawsuit faces new accusations

Now, a third person has come forward, also making allegations against Browning.

In a notice of claim filed on Thursday, Sept. 10, Cole Charles Vasko alleges Browning threw him to the ground, smacked him in the face and threatened him with pepper spray and a taser — all while his young son looked on.

Vasko claims he and his son were walking home around midnight after visiting a friend’s house on March 9, 2019. During their walk, Vasko had a brief altercation with a passing motorist who almost hit him and his son. That motorist, unbeknownst to Vasko, called the police making allegations against him, causing a response.

Browning was one of the officers who attended the scene. Without warning, the suit alleges, she grabbed Vasko from behind and threw him to the ground.

“The plaintiff did not see or notice police. If there were lights on, he was not aware and he heard no sirens,” the claim reads. “Furthermore, there was no request made for him to stop.”

When Browning had Vasko pinned to the ground, she identified herself but neither she nor her colleagues explained why he was being apprehended.

Further, Vasko alleges he was taken to the detachment, dragged out of the RCMP cruiser and dropped on his face, causing further damage and bleeding. His arm was twisted behind his back until he “could feel the ligaments in his elbow begin to tear.”

The suit claims Vasko was held at the detachment for more than 10 hours before he was released without being charged. During that time, he was not advised why he was being held, breaching his charter rights.

Four months later, Vasko was charged with resisting arrest, assault and disturbing the peace — charges which were later stayed by the Crown in December 2019. The suit alleges Browning only charged Vasko in an attempt to cover up her assault against him.

READ MORE: RCMP brass addresses concerns over recent actions of police in the Southeast District

READ MORE: Protest in support student Mona Wang draws small crowd in Kelowna

The suit calls the actions of Browning and the RCMP reckless, arrogant, high-handed and abusive, and claims they show a “callous disregard for the plaintiff’s rights.”

“Browning and the RCMP have engaged in conduct that is reprehensible and deserves punishment,” stated the lawsuit.

Alongside Browning, the lawsuit also names the Attorney General of Canada and B.C. Minister of Public Safety. None of the defendants have filed a response and the claims have not yet been tested in court.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMP

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

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple accused of flying to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine to appear in court

If convicted, the pair could serve up to six months in jail

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Flowers poke through the snow in Courtenay as the area got a taste of winter weather this week. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Vancouver Island not out of the winter woods quite yet: meteorologist

“It’s winter; we’ve got to get through it together.”

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Vancouver Island woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny rescue operation

Amy McLaughlin has rescued more than 400 bunnies, pushing for the capacity to help more

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

Most Read