Judge denies Qualicum Beach man's lawsuit seeking $150K for wrongful arrest

By Ian Holmes
December 4, 2018 - 5:04pm Updated: December 4, 2018 - 5:39pm

A Qualicum Beach man's bid for $150,000 in compensation for his arrest after a traffic stop in Delta in 2017 was dismissed by a BC Supreme Court judge in Nanaimo.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — A BC Supreme Court judge dismissed a civil claim filed by a Qualicum Beach man who wanted $150,000, claiming his arrest for a probation breach was unjust.

Madam Justice Mary Humphries' decision in BC Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Nov. 28 came in response to Gabriel Stephen Nelson's allegations of abuse of process and wrongful arrest.

The court ruling stated Nelson, 30, was on probation and not permitted to be outside the Oceanside region when he was arrested after a traffic stop by a Delta Police Department officer in January 2017.

The arresting officer suspected Nelson may have been driving impaired, but concluded he was not under the influence. 

Madam Humphries ruled it was within the right of the Delta Police Department officer to take Nelson into custody. The arresting officer reported Nelson was not staying in his designated lane prior to the traffic stop.

“Even if there are no identifiable infractions, police can randomly stop a person to check their driver's licence and insurance, the sobriety of the driver, and the mechanical fitness of the vehicle,” Madam Humphries stated.

The Supreme Court judge ruled Nelson's arrest was valid and agreed he in fact breached his probation.

Nelson did not appear at his Supreme Court hearing in Nanaimo in October.

The Delta Police Department is entitled to costs it incurred during the litigation if it chooses to pursue them.

In an unrelated matter, Nelson faces serious charges following a high-profile assault in a downtown Nanaimo hotel room in April 2017. Nelson is accused of assaulting a visiting businessman, an attack police believed may have been a hate crime based on sexual orientation.

Nelson is charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and robbery. His pre-trial conference for the charges is slated for Dec. 18 in Provincial Court in Nanaimo.


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