VPD officer assaulted girlfriend five times on off-duty trip, review finds
VANCOUVER -- A review on the record has found a Vancouver police officer committed misconduct by drunkenly shattering a vehicle windshield and repeatedly assaulting his then-girlfriend while off duty on a vacation to Oregon — a substantial change from the force’s own investigation, which didn’t substantiate the assaults.
In a ruling, which was obtained by CTV News Vancouver, retired judge Brian M. Neal found Const. Neil Logan committed acts of discreditable conduct by shattering the windshield and assaulting Alyssa Leblevec five times over several hours during the 2017 trip.
“The evidence in the record clearly proves beyond a balance of probabilities that the member began a heated, volatile and animated argument with the complainant as she drove his vehicle back to a Seaside Motel,” Neal wrote in a review on the record ordered by B.C.’s police complaints commissioner.
“The member, acting in a rage, committed assaults on the complainant” by striking her three times, holding her in a bear hug, and grabbing her from behind and choking her, he wrote.
Neal also questioned the Vancouver Police Department for using outdated assumptions about domestic assault as a way to sink the credibility of the victim, Alyssa Leblevec. She had returned with him to their hotel room, he noted, and did not report the assaults for several days.
“On the face of it, such actions might be considered to be inconsistent with normal expectations of a person claiming to be the victim of a series of assaults. However, such expectations are likely to be based on a ‘myth or stereotype’ of how a woman would be expected to react in the situation facing the complainant,” Neal wrote.
“The law is clear that such are inappropriate generalizations that can improperly undermine the credibility of a witness,” he wrote.
Leblevec told CTV News that the ruling was a welcome development in a “long, hard fight.”
“It’s going to be something I carry with me forever,” she said, adding that she hoped that discipline in the case would prevent Logan from being in touch with women as part of any police response.
“I can’t imagine any woman who is the victim of domestic assault calling the police for help and having that man show up,” she said.
In 2017, Logan took Leblevec to Seaside, Ore., for her birthday. She, Logan and another off-duty VPD officer visited the Screw and Brew pub, where Logan drank six beers and at least one shot, stumbling as he left a second pub, the review says.
The pair got into his vehicle and that’s when they had an argument and Logan became angry and broke the windshield, the review says. Neal’s review on the record describes five assaults in the car and at the motel.
Seaside authorities decided not to prosecute because of “delayed reporting, lack of a suspect statement, and the difficulty inherent in an international prosecution,” wrote senior deputy district attorney Scott C. McCracken at the time.
That delayed reporting was one factor that the VPD used to diminish Leblevec’s credibility. Another was allegations that she was jealous, as during the trip she discovered that Logan was in a romantic relationship with another woman.
The VPD concluded that Logan had committed misconduct in breaking the windshield and offered him a 15-day suspension without pay. The offer was rejected by the commissioner, and in a second submission the VPD suggested a six-day suspension and visits with a psychologist.
That’s when the commissioner ordered a public review on the record.
Logan’s lawyer didn’t respond to an email or phone messages. The VPD confirmed that he is on extended leave.
Logan is also awaiting a ruling from a public hearing into how a domestic violence response involving him and another officer descended into a brawl, seriously injuring a Vancouver engineer.
And CTV News has learned the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner has ordered an investigation into another complaint against Logan. The VPD received a complaint from Harpreet Sidhu, which it forwarded to the OPCC.
Sidhu is alleging that Logan detained her improperly after her car hit his Audi on Main Street in Vancouver in 2017, records show.
“He told her, ‘You can’t call 911, you can’t go anywhere, you sit here, I’m calling the police,’” said Sidhu’s nephew, Deep Bhullar.
CTV News asked Logan’s lawyer, Kevin Woodall, about the case in August. Woodall said it’s important to see the full police report on that file. CTV News made a freedom of information request for the incident report from the Vancouver police, which declined to provide it in a recent letter. Woodall also didn’t provide the report.
In earlier conversations, Woodall defended Logan, saying that he was not at fault in the crash and that his injuries prompted him to sue Sidhu. The allegations remain unproven and there has been no finding of misconduct in that case.
In Leblevec’s case, Neal has asked lawyers for Logan, the commissioner and Leblevec to make submissions about what Logan’s punishment should be. The B.C. Police Act allows any punishment from advice all the way to suspensions or dismissal.