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

Newly elected Nazko Chief Leah Stump penned a letter explaining the scope of the project. (Photo submitted)
Nazko seeks approval to build housing for members facing lengthy medical visits in Quesnel

The First Nation is looking to build nine units in West Quesnel to help members staying in the city

The trek was made without spectators on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2021. Organizers are planning a second run for February, when they hope public health restrictions are lifted. (Tammy Raynor - Submitted Photo)
As mushers deliver, sled dog mail run organizers announce second event

The dogs made the trip from Quesnel to Barkerville, delivering envelopes of mail for Canada Post

The driver of this truck received minor injuries after it careened off the highway. (Quesnel RCMP Photo)
Semi-truck crashes down 200-foot embankment off Highway 97

The truck also spilled diesel fuel into Cuisson Creek

Operating Room nurse Tammy Solecki, Clinical Practice Leader Joanne George, and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Van Zyl, stand alongside new equipment G.R. Baker’s shoulder surgery extension. (Submitted photo)
New shoulder surgery program at G.R. Baker Hospital in Quesnel already getting rave reviews

The $200,000 program could support nearly 100 surgeries a year at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Most Read