British Columbia

Men allege brutality by Vancouver mall security guards

Five men now allege they were abducted and beaten by security guards in separate incidents at a downtown Vancouver mall.

Brutality allegations

11 years ago
Duration 2:08
Five men who say they suffered brutal beatings are suing a security company and Vancouver mall, reports the CBC’s Tim Weekes

Five men now allege they were abducted and beaten by security guards in separate incidents at a downtown Vancouver mall.

Two men have joined three others who have already filed lawsuits against Fusion Security Inc. and the Harbour Centre Mall.

At a news conference Tuesday, Justin Peterson said he was coming home from a construction job in 2009 when he stopped in at the mall and was allegedly set upon by security guards without provocation.

"I was forcibly dragged into a stairwell, handcuffed to the railing and abused at that point," said Peterson.

Peterson said he was kicked so hard he couldn't walk for a week and said he has medical documents detailing his visit to a hospital emergency room.

"It's pretty terrifying having all your safety ripped away," he said.

Peterson said he remained silent about the attack until he learned he wasn't alone.

In June, the Pivot Legal Society filed the first three lawsuits against the mall and the security company in which the men alleged they sustained serious injuries when they were stopped by security, dragged into hidden areas of the mall and beaten.

Another man also has since come forward, but did not attend Tuesday’s news conference.

Police called

Police were called to four of the five incidents detailed in the lawsuits, but no charges were laid and none of the allegations have been proved in court.

"Basically, what we've seen in all these individuals' cases for all five individuals is physical injuries from a beating, and in our opinion there needs to be consequences for that," said Pivot lawyer Douglas King.

The beatings are alleged to have occurred at Vancouver's Harbour Centre, at Hasting and Seymour streets. (CBC)
A spokesperson for Fusion Security Inc. said that because the matter is before the courts, the company is limited in what it can say. But in its statement of defence to the lawsuit, the company said the complainants had been belligerent and sustained their injuries when they attacked security staff.

King said he would argue that the injuries sustained by the men are not satisfactorily explained by the company’s statement.

The men alleging brutality said they are not seeking money in their lawsuit.

"Justice. Only justice, nothing else," said alleged victim Luis Larrain.

With files from the CBC's Tim Weekes