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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN ON: Cops 'Just Pulverized Me,' Witness Testifies At Trial
Title:CN ON: Cops 'Just Pulverized Me,' Witness Testifies At Trial
Published On:2012-01-18
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON)
Fetched On:2012-01-21 06:00:46
COPS 'JUST PULVERIZED ME,' WITNESS TESTIFIES AT TRIAL

Windsor man among accused

A key Crown witness in the corruption trial of five former Toronto
drug squad officers recounted details Tuesday of a vicious beating he
allegedly received while in police custody more than a decade ago.

Christopher Quigley, 46, was arrested in the spring of 1998 for
possessing stolen sunglasses. A known lowlevel marijuana dealer at the
time, Quigley was brought by members of the drug squad to an
interrogation room, where he says events took a nightmarish turn.

"They just pulverized me," Quigley testified, recounting a series of
three severe beatings in quick succession. By the end, "I started
throwing up blood and I couldn't breathe. I was choking on my own
blood."

Quigley is the first Crown witness to testify at the joint trial of
John Schertzer, Steven Correia, Nebojsa Maodus, Joseph Miched and
Raymond Pollard. All but Correia, who is suspended, have left the
force.

The five are accused of conspiring to attempt to obstruct justice by
falsifying police records and giving false testimony. Several are
charged with additional offences for allegedly beating and robbing
drug dealers, including Quigley.

Quigley described a pattern of assault that continued for hours as
police lobbed questions on where he had stashed his drugs and money.

"I was struck in the face by Det. Schertzer. He became extremely
angry," Quigley said. Shortly thereafter, two other drug squad
officers, including Maodus - who is originally from Windsor - began
punching and kicking him, Quigley testified.

Asked if he had done anything to prompt this, the witness responded:
"Nothing whatsoever."

After leaving Quigley alone for about half an hour, the defendants
unleashed a second beating, he testified.

"(They were) punching, kicking, absolutely pulverizing me ... I was
told 'you'd better give us the information'," Quigley said, noting the
attack left him semi-conscious, covered in blood and "absolutely
terrified. I really thought I was going to die," the witness
testified.

He told the court how Correia entered the room and threw some paper
towels on the floor, telling Quigley to "clean yourself up." Then the
door "flew open" once again, and another beating ensued. Quigley says
he briefly lost consciousness after slamming into a wall.

It was not until the drug squad took Quigley to a holding cell that
other uniformed officers observed his grim condition - by then, he had
started vomiting blood - and called for an ambulance, the court heard.

Drug squad members gave a different account of the altercation in
question, the jury heard, alleging Quigley "became enraged" and
attacked an officer after hearing police had searched his mother's
house.

Police also ransacked Quigley's own apartment, the witness testified,
even after he told the drug squad specifically where to locate his
marijuana stash, inside a dog food bag.

When he returned home, Quigley said, "it looked like a bomb had hit,"
and a number of items were missing, including documents related to his
jewelry business, CDs, a $400 pair of cowboy boots and a seven-carat
sapphire valued at about $8,000. The drug squad also obtained a search
warrant for Quigley's mother's safety deposit box, where the witness
says he had stored $54,000 in cash, mostly from an insurance
settlement. Police recorded, and ultimately returned, less than half
that figure.

Quigley initially faced a host of charges in relation to the 1998
incident, including assaulting police, but most were dropped in a plea
deal that saw him convicted of simple drug possession. The deal also
barred him from suing police for in-custody injuries.

The trial resumes today.
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