Impounded Maserati leads to VPD complaint

Driver of luxury car claims officer abandoned him and twin four-year-old daughters

The Vancouver Police Board has dismissed a complaint from a man caught speeding who said an officer abandoned him and his twin four-year-old daughters on Southeast Marine Drive after his Maserati was impounded.

The driver, whose name was not released by the police board, said in his written complaint that the officer did not offer any assistance for him and his daughters to get home to North Vancouver.

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“My children should never be put in a scary situation like that – never in this country,” he wrote of the Oct. 18, 2015 incident in the 2200-block of Southeast Marine Drive.  “The police are here to serve and protect. Yes, he was doing his job of catching speeding vehicles, but he completely abandoned any decision to aid in the safety of my family.”

Police clocked the driver’s Maserati travelling at 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. They stopped him just before 4 p.m. Police issued him a ticket for excessive speed and his car was impounded pursuant to legislation in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The driver removed his daughters, their car seats and luggage from his car. He said in his complaint that he walked roughly one kilometre with his daughters to a strip mall on Southeast Marine Drive. He made no mention in his complaint whether he had a cellular phone.

Along the way, his girls were crying and scared, he said, adding that it was cold and raining. He said he had no one to call for assistance, noting his wife lives in Calgary, his mother in Toronto and his father in Washington State.

“I am a very resourceful person but even I was getting worried and was concerned for the safety of my daughters as we kept walking,” he said. “I could not carry them as I had all of our luggage and car seats. I am not familiar with the area and felt uncomfortable with our safety, especially with the two very young children and the belongings we had.”

When he reached the strip mall, the driver said, he was able to contact his wife’s brother’s girlfriend in Yaletown, who picked up the trio about two hours after police stopped him for speeding.

“When I got home and talked to the children’s mother, she was absolutely furious that the VPD would put her children in a situation like this,” he said.

At the time of the incident, the temperature was 13.2 degrees Celsius, there was a light drizzle and the road was wet, said a Vancouver Police Department report that went before the board Jan. 28.

The report said the officer offered to call a taxi for the driver.

“The driver refused the offer, gathered his belongings and moved his daughters onto the sidewalk, where he berated the police officer with profanities before walking away westbound while talking on his cellular phone before the tow truck arrived,” the report said. “In this instance, the officer fulfilled his duty of care by offering to call the complainant a taxi, and recognizing that the complaint had adequate means to facilitate his travel from the location his vehicle was impounded.”

The report added the conditions may have been unpleasant for the driver and his daughters but they couldn’t be considered dangerous.

“In fact, the actions of the driver, travelling 100 km/h on a wet city road, provided the greatest risk to his daughters’ safety,” the report concluded.

The police board was unanimous in dismissing the driver’s complaint. The driver, meanwhile, said he will file a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

mhowell@vancourier.com

@Howellings

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