A Vancouver Island man says he has been left with a cracked rib and is unable to work after allegedly being beaten in a cell by Victoria police.

John Benson, 44, was on his way to work last week when he was picked up by police on an outstanding warrant for an alleged breach of his probation.

The trouble started inside the holding cell, Benson says, when he became upset when officers told him to take off his jeans and threw them on the ground. 

"They [the police] grabbed me, threw me on the ground and then kneeled so hard on my chest," said Benson, who was treated at the Royal Jubilee Hospital for a cracked rib, then returned to jail and released.

John Benson's rib

John Benson shows his still swollen cracked rib. (CBC)

Benson's left rib is still swollen and sticks out. He says he's in a lot of pain.

"Trying to sleep, trying lie down, and trying to do stuff and bend over  the pain is just incredible ... It's nasty."

Victoria Police Const. Mike Russell confirmed there was an altercation.

"Our police cells are fully videotaped, so we have that. We have all the officers' notes and things like that that would typically be submitted in any file," said Russell.

An investigation is pending from B.C.'s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.