London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
A 26-year-old man is claiming members of the London Police Service assaulted him as he was leaving at bar on Sept. 29.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., London resident Michael Wayner said he was leaving an establishment on Richmond Street, where he had been drinking with friends for “a couple of hours,” when he alleges an unknown number of officers “jumped him” from behind. After forcing him to the ground and handcuffing him, Wayner said the officers proceeded to assault him.
“They came from behind and grabbed me. There was one on each arm. They cuffed me. Then I was on the ground and I started getting punched in the face by some cop. I felt I was being kicked in the back too,” Wayner said. “They ran up to me, I didn’t even know. I am being charged with assault on an officer when I didn’t even touch them. They just assaulted me, but I never laid a hand on them.”
London Police Const. Dennis Rivest confirmed Wayner was arrested and charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest, and possession of open alcohol in public.
Wayner says he has been in trouble with the law before, “but not for this whole year.” That trouble, Wayner said, included “some wild stuff” when he was a juvenile, as well as charges of assault.
Wayner claimed in this case, however, he did nothing to provoke what he said was the assault by London police.
“I had open alcohol, but I gave them the bottle when they came up to me,” Wayner said. “But what they did after I was handcuffed, I didn’t do anything bad and they assaulted me. Then they caught me and beat me up.”
Lee Summers, 21, was with Wayner at the bar and said the problems started even before the police arrived when he tussled with the bouncers at the club after trying to leave with a beer in his pocket.
Summers said at that point he and Wayner “tried to walk away,” which led to his getting separated from his friend in the crowds that often fill Richmond Street after the bars let out. When he returned to try and find Wayner, Summers alleged he saw “three or four officers” assaulting Wayner.
“When I came walking up the alley, I was looking in this crowd of people, I saw Mikey on the ground in handcuffs and they kept punching him in the face and another one was kicking him,” Summers claimed. “I didn’t know what to do. And the whole crowd was cheering, saying, ‘Throw him in jail,’ after they had already beaten him up.”
Wayner said after being “thrown in the paddy wagon” he was briefly taken to a hospital — he wasn’t admitted and didn’t receive any treatment — before being driven back to London police headquarters.
Wayner estimates he was at the police station for around five hours before being released around 8 a.m. After being picked up by his father, Wayner was dropped off at his mother’s house where he says his brother took a series of photos of his injuries and posted them to Facebook pages, including London Community News’.
At that point, Wayner went to get medical assistance. “They said I have a broken nose and may have broken my ribs; it feels like it. They did do an ultrasound to look for blood, but there isn’t much they could do with broken ribs anyway.”
After seeing the Facebook photos, Rivest didn’t comment specifically on the allegations, noting “That is not how we treat people. That is not consistent at all with how we treat people.”
Rivest said if an individual has an issue with London police, there is a process in place. Individuals can come into police headquarters and file a complaint or, Rivest said, they can do so through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
“If he feels excessive force was used, there is a complaint process in place,” Rivest said. “The process needs to be followed.”
Wayner was initially hesitant to talk about his allegations — despite his brother bringing the alleged attack into the public eye — because he was concerned about what might happen to him if he spoke out. However, after talking with his friends and family, he says his course of action is clear.
“I don’t know who assaulted me. There were two of them who took me into the police station. But I don’t know,” Wayner said.
“I was pretty drunk, I wasn’t sure, but after talking to my friend, I know 100 per cent I was innocent. So I will be filing a complaint.”
Wayner faces a Nov. 8 court date to address his charges.
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