Five men — including a convicted killer and a man who carjacked a murdered police officer's widow and is now a dangerous offender — are suing the Ontario government after they were allegedly stripped and beaten during a 2012 lockdown while they were inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
Each plaintiff is seeking $700,000 in damages in the $3.5-million lawsuit after they were allegedly subjected to "excessive force without any justification," and subsequently denied "proper medical attention" and refused access to a lawyer for several days while in segregation, according to a statement of claim filed June 16.
Three of the inmates have since been released, and two have been transferred to a different facility, according to their lawyer.
The five claim the abuse began on April 13, 2012, when masked guards with shields and batons entered their cells. All five said they offered no resistance as they were kicked, punched, berated, and slammed into the wall and floor.
The list of injuries includes broken bones, severe bruising and a tooth injury so severe it required a root canal, the claim details.
"The plaintiffs state that from April 13 to April 17, 2012, they were not allowed to shower, they were not provided any toothpaste or toothbrushes, soap, personal items, or clean sheets and they were not allowed to use the telephone even to call a lawyer," the claim states.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Officers 'spiteful, malicious, oppressive': claim
Ben Taylor alleges one correctional officer slammed his head on the floor several times and "asked him if he thought he was cool because of his charges," according to the claim.
Taylor was convicted of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Scott Ledoux during a fight at a St. Patrick's Day house party in 2011. Taylor was 18 at the time. He was sentenced to six years in prison.
Kevin Ransdell alleges he was ordered to face the wall before correctional officers in full gear rushed at him, smashing his face into the wall with a shield, according to the claim.
Ransdell has previously made claims of police brutality, after he was arrested for carjacking Anna Korutowska, the widow of Ottawa Const. Eric Czapnik, in June 2010. His request that his charges be stayed due to alleged police brutality were dismissed. He was convicted in the carjacking case and has been deemed a dangerous offender
Inmates Wael Chamoun, Alain Chaput and Clint Grainger also allege they were abused at the OCDC on Innes Road.
"The plaintiffs plead that the correctional officers' conduct was insulting, high-handed, spiteful, malicious and oppressive, which increased each of the plaintiffs' emotional distress, humiliation, indignation, anxiety, grief, fear and the like, for which they are entitled to an award of aggravated damages," according to the claim.
The Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre was the third-most complained-against correctional facility in the province, according to the Ontario ombudsman's 2012-13 report.