Lack of statement from VPD officer helped sink criminal case against him: report
VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver Police Department constable accused of striking his girlfriend while off-duty on a trip to Oregon promised American investigators he would give them a statement on the incident — but then waited five months before ultimately refusing.
Having no statement was cited by the Clatsop County District Attorney among the reasons prosecutors in Oregon decided to drop their case against Const. Neil Logan, and also delayed a misconduct investigation in B.C., documents say.
"The delayed reporting, the lack of a suspect statement, and the difficulty inherent in an international prosecution are all factors that make a difficult case even harder," wrote Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott C. McCracken.
His former girlfriend, Alyssa LeBlevec, says she expected a police officer would co-operate more with an investigation by a police department.
"It’s almost humorous to see police skirt the system they’re supposed to be a part of," she said in an interview.
On Monday, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner publicly called out the Vancouver Police Department for how it handled the investigation into what happened on that Oregon trip in September 2017.
The watchdog said the department relied on outdated assumptions about domestic violence by failing to give Leblevec’s testimony enough weight, and focusing on assertions that LeBlevec had made the complaint because of an alternate "love interest" involving Logan.
The department was poised to give Logan a six-day suspension for breaking his own windshield in a rage while LeBlevec was driving — but was silent on accusations Logan had also hit LeBlevec several times, and put her in "bear hugs" against her will at the hotel.
The Seaside County, Oregon Police Department file shows that LeBlevec complained on Sept. 29, 2017 and that six days earlier Logan had gotten drunk with a friend, and became angry, making allegations she did not love him. He broke the windshield and she pulled over.
"She stated Neil backhanded her with his left hand. She felt the sting of the slap to her face but was so shocked she could not give me an accurate pain level. She stated she was numb from shock,” wrote Cpl. Baugher.
The report describes LeBlevec’s allegation that Logan hit her again at their hotel, where LeBlevec locked herself in the bathroom, until she found Logan bleeding after injuring himself. She used his phone to discover that Logan was not covered for alcohol-related injuries on their health insurance, and discovered texts from another woman as well, the report says.
A month later, on Oct. 23, Cpl. Baugher spoke with Logan on the phone. "I began to explain the allegations of harassment when Logan stated she was lying and couldn’t be trusted. I explained that I needed to ask questions but he stated he wished to speak with his union representative."
In November, Cpl. Baugher again phoned Logan, who said "he would be making a statement with the assistance of his attorney at a later time." Logan’s lawyer, Kevin Woodall, told him he would receive a statement within two weeks, the statement says.
But the statement never came. And on April 13, 2018, Cpl. Baugher wrote he received an email from Woodall saying he would not be providing one.
On Sept. 27, 2018, the Clatsop County District Attorney’s office decided to drop the case. The Seaside, Oregon criminal file is now closed, and officials there didn’t return phone calls from CTV News.
Woodall and Logan didn't return calls from CTV News.
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will now do a review on the record of Logan’s alleged misconduct.