Photos, audio provide clues to disturbing melee involving police
VANCOUVER -- A public hearing into how a domestic violence call and wellness check by Vancouver police officers turned into a violent melee resumed Tuesday, with the man who was severely beaten still saying he wants answers.
Pictures put into evidence at the hearing show the aftermath of the fight in Vladimir Tchaikoun’s Vancouver home, with a hole in one wall and handcuffs on the ground in the hallway.
And striking images of Tchaikoun’s body show bruises and cuts to his face, body and toes, a bloody laceration on his head, and wounds behind his ear.
“It’s hard for him to work, he has migraines,” said Tchaikoun’s daughter Alicia outside the hearing at Metrotown. “It’s hard for us to see him like this. It’s painful.”
While photographs clearly show the home after the incident in March of 2016, audio of the event comes to the court comes only in fragments.
“Put your hands behind your back!” one officer can be heard saying in the recordings of police communications from that time. “Stop fighting!”
“Can I have cover units please?” another officer says over the radio. “Everyone just go,” someone responds.
The first call to police that day was from Olga Reounina, a neighbour who testified that she had talked to Natalia Tchaikoun that day, who was crying and said she had been hit by her husband. The Tchaikoun family have said that her allegation was false.
“My friend, she phoned me and said her husband hit her. She’s in pain, she was crying,” Reounina tells a 911 call taker. She says on the call that Natalia was supposed to meet her, but hadn’t, and she is worried about her. She asks that the family not know it is her calling.
The Vancouver police dispatched Const. Eric Ludeman and Const. Neil Logan to do a domestic violence call and a wellness check.
When the officers knocked on the door, the force has said that Tchaikoun refused to let them in, and it escalated into a brawl. Tchaikoun’s son joined the fray, and his daughter screamed, “They’re killing my father,” and Tchaikoun yelled, “They’re killing me!” according to testimony.
“I was panicking and they just kept hitting him, more officers came and instead of someone helping calm things down, the situation, it just escalated. It’s terrible. He’s lucky to be alive,” Alicia Tchaikoun said.
Tchaikoun, his wife, and son were all arrested and and charged with assaulting a police officer. The charges no longer appear in a public-facing court database, which is a sign they have been stayed.
One of the officers involved, Const. Logan, also faces another disciplinary proceeding, a review on the record, for allegedly beating his then-girlfriend and breaking a car window on a trip to Oregon.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner said the allegations against the officers were investigated by the Victoria Police Department and referred to a retired judge for a review.
The judge oversaw a disciplinary proceeding and ruled that the officers shouldn’t have entered Tchaikoun’s home, but didn’t commit misconduct.
Tchaikoun requested a public hearing so that everything could come out in the open, and the police complaint commissioner determined it was in the public interest to do so.
“it’s very important for us that the people involved in this incident should be held accountable,” said Vladimir Tchaikoun.