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The Globe and Mail

Man sues B.C. police, city, pub over arrest caught on video and posted online

The sign outside the police station in Port Moody, British Columbia. Herbert Ramos and Tracey Ferris state they were wrongfully arrested and detained, and their reputations subsequently harmed, by members of the Port Moody Police Department after an altercation on July 6, 2013.

A man and his spouse are suing a Port Moody, B.C. police officer for an arrest that knocked him unconscious.

Herbert Ramos and Tracey Ferris also filed a statement of claim in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday against the city alleging wrongful arrest and detention, as well as a local pub and its manager alleging they provided officers with false information.

The incident took place July 6 at the Golden Spike Pub, where Mr. Ramos and Ms. Ferris were celebrating a birthday with 18 other people, following a dispute with several bouncers.

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Outside the pub, Sgt. Ian Morrison grabbed Mr. Ramos, a CTV cameraman, from behind the neck and threw him violently backwards without warning onto the parking lot, the court document states.

"Before, during and after he was thrown to the ground and choked, Mr. Ramos presented no threat to any person, was not subject to any police direction, was not in the process of being arrested, was committing no crime and was not interfering with the exercise of any police discretion or any policing duty or task," states the court document.

"There was no basis in law to throw Mr. Ramos to the ground or to choke him."

The allegations have not been proven in court, and none of the defendants have filed statements of defence.

But the incident was caught on video and posted on the Internet.

Mr. Ramos and Ms. Ferris allege there were no grounds for police to arrest and detain them in jail before they were released without charges.

Mr. Ramos suffered a concussion, blurry vision, memory loss, headaches, impaired balance, loss of sleep, loss of concentration and a reduce range of motion, and as a result was unable to work for a period of time, the document states.

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Ms. Ferris suffered nervous shock and anxiety after witnessing the altercation, it adds.

The couple allege pub employees provided police with false information about their conduct, and then the police "assaulted, arrested and detained" them based on that false information.

They also allege the Port Moody Police Department, Chief Const. Chris Rattenbury, Const. Luke van Winkel and pub manager Cheryl Smenuik defamed them in a press release and online news story.

Mr. Ramos and Ms. Ferris state their reputations were harmed as a result of the statements.

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