Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Man locked up for daring to ask police officer his name
What a goon! Clearly a danger to the public.
EMBATTLED Surfers Paradise police are embroiled in a fresh misconduct probe after a retired businessman was allegedly brutalised and thrown in a cell.
Lindsay Walters, 61, says he was subjected to shocking treatment at Surfers Paradise police station last month when he went in to pay a fine for his son. He claims he was sworn at, handcuffed and threatened that his arms would be broken.
The wealthy Paradise Waters businessman has made a formal complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission alleging unlawful arrest, deprivation of liberty and serious assault.
The CMC says the case could amount to official misconduct and has referred the allegations to the police Ethical Standards Command. It is the latest scandal for Surfers police, who are at the centre of a major CMC probe into allegations of involvement in the Glitter Strip's nightclub drug trade.
In a police statement, Mr Walters said he went to Surfers police station on May 4 after two officers called at his home that day in relation to an arrest warrant for his 28-year-old son Ben over an unpaid traffic fine in Victoria. He said he arranged to pay the $1000 fine for his son but when he went to the station was told the officer handling the matter was out.
He said he asked civilly several times to speak with the officer-in-charge. An officer eventually emerged and allegedly told him: "You've got two (expletive) choices sit there and wait or I'll arrest you." Mr Walters said he replied: "Well, that won't happen, because I'll leave." He said he was affronted by the officer's demeanour and turned to walk out. "Before I exited, I turned and said, 'excuse me, can I have your name please?"' Mr Walters said in the statement.
"At this instant, the officer burst through a door, strode quickly over to me and seized my left forearm. He forced my arm behind my back and said 'you're under arrest'. I felt an intense burning pain in my shoulders and neck. I said, 'why am I being arrested?'. The officer replied: 'An outstanding warrant'."
Despite his protestations, Mr Walters said his arms were forced back and he was handcuffed, causing intense pain. He admits to "some resistance" but said he was "shocked and amazed" by the way he was treated. He said that as he was being handcuffed, the officer said: "Stop resisting or I'll break your (expletive) arms."
Mr Walters said his belongings were seized and he was forced into a cell. He was released about 15 minutes later when the officer who had been handling his son's warrant returned. The officer apologised for his colleague's conduct and accepted the $1000 fine payment, Mr Walters said.
He said the officer who locked him up threatened to charge him with public nuisance but he was released without charge. "If I was playing up, why didn't they charge me?" he said yesterday. "I was humiliated and treated like a common criminal ... all for trying to do the right thing.
"I've never been in trouble with the law and some of my closest friends are serving and retired police, but this bloke (the officer) deserves to lose his job over this. I'm not going to let him get away with it."
A police spokeswoman confirmed an internal investigation into the incident was under way.