Cook gets $94,000
after Vancouver cop assault

Keith Fraser, Vancouver Province, June 1, 2009

VANCOUVER — A Vancouver cook who was assaulted by six cops while he was asleep at his workplace has been awarded $94,000 in damages by a B.C. Supreme Court jury.

Todd Baiden went to Le Petite Cafe in the early morning hours of March 7, 2002 intending to escape the cold and take a nap. A delivery man who arrived at the cafe spotted Baiden asleep on a counter, mistakenly thought he was an intruder and called police.

Six officers arrived and in the struggle that ensued, Baiden suffered a broken nose and cuts and required surgery for a ruptured spleen.

An internal police investigation found that the cops had done nothing wrong. The officers claimed Baiden had acted aggressively and his injuries were accidental.

But Baiden believed he’d been wronged and filed a lawsuit.

After a two-week trial, the jury found that the force used by the officers was unjustified and unreasonable.

“Basically, at the end of the day, I feel that it’s really nice that I’m vindicated, that people have found that this was something that shouldn’t have happened,” Baiden, 37, said Monday.

“It’s nice to move on from it as well and to have the whole thing be over, finally.”

Baiden remains employed in the food industry, working with a catering company.

The trial was scheduled to begin in 2007, but the City of Vancouver sought to have the matter dealt with by a workers’ compensation tribunal. The tribunal ruled that the courts had jurisdiction.

The city is now liable for the damages.

Arguments over legal costs are expected to be made within a week, said Baiden’s lawyer, Cameron Ward.

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