Officer ‘bull-rushes’ man
texting on cellphone,
lawyer alleges

Andy Ivens, Vancouver Province, Jan. 6, 2010

The lawyer for a man who allegedly was assaulted by a Vancouver police sergeant last August said the version of events described by an inspector is out of whack with what videotape of the incident shows.

Vancouver police Insp. Mario Giardini said on Monday the sergeant was attempting to break up a fight at 2:15 a.m. on a sidewalk in the westside Aug. 23, but lawyer Jason Tarnow said there was no fight.

Sgt. Darcy Taylor, a 20-year veteran of the Vancouver Police Department, was charged Monday with one count of assault with a weapon.

“There was nothing going on,” Tarnow told The Province on Tuesday. “Everyone was peaceful. There were no fights at all.”

Tarnow said the crowd of more than a dozen bar patrons was exiting the Regal Beagle pub in the 2200-block West Broadway when the sergeant arrived in his cruiser.

Taylor first ran across Broadway to the south sidewalk and began “bashing people across the back of the legs,” said the lawyer.

He then returned to the north side where the pub entrance was.

“My client was standing with one hand in his pocket and was texting on his cellphone with the other.

“The officer bull-rushes him full speed, cross-checks him right in the chin ... with his baton,” Tarnow said. “The cop was out of control.”

He said the bar patrons were trying to hail taxis.

Tarnow said his client is a “peaceful guy ... He’s not a troublemaker.”

The incident was captured on the bar’s in-house security video. Tarnow said he will wait until Wednesday, when his client returns to Canada, for consent to release the video publicly. His client is contemplating a civil action.