Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man who says police officer kicked him can't identify attacker

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A Winnipeg man says he thought he was going to die after being kicked in the stomach by a city police officer.

But Henry Lavallee admits he’s unable to identify his attacker – a potentially big problem for the Crown in their case against the accused.

Const. Ryan Law has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault. He was arrested in 2009 after an internal investigation into an incident several months earlier.

Lavallee, 48, took the witness stand today, describing how he needed emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding he suffered as a result of the alleged attack.

"I didn’t know if I was passing out or I was dead," Lavallee told court. "I never felt like that in my life, I was so sore."

Lavallee has alleged an "unprovoked and brutal" assault by police after he and a friend were arrested for breaking into a vehicle. Lavallee claims he was attacked as he was pulled out of a police cruiser to be led into the Public Safety Building. He said he was placed in a lockup room, where he lay on the floor until Law entered and allegedly kicked him in the abdomen.

Lavallee alleges he requested medical care but was refused until he arrived at the Winnipeg Remand Centre and began vomiting blood. On Tuesday, one of the paramedics who responded to the call for help says Lavallee didn't show any visible signs of injury. There were no bruises, abrasions, welts or swelling of his stomach.

En route to hospital, he was making jokes and then launched several sexually crude comments toward female employees at the hospital, court was told.

"He didn't appear distressed," the paramedic told court.

Det. Sgt. Randy Levasseur was the lead investigator against Law. He testified Tuesday the officer's notes indicate Lavallee was belligerent and confrontational upon arrest, repeatedly calling Law a "b---h" and shouting other profanities at him.

Lavallee has an extensive criminal record, which will likely lead to his credibility being challenged by defence lawyers. He will be cross-examined this afternoon.

 

 

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