Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and Debbie Kolbert airing October 27th-November 2nd
A betrayal of trust, the Police wrongfully arrested Debbie who was beaten by her boyfriend who convinced them that it was her fault, no statement taken from her of her family, just an assumption she was guilty, now 5 Years of living terror and still no justice she speaks out .
The accounts are real and documented and this is in legal action waiting and waiting for the police to step up and resolve the issue and admit they were wrong. We know that there are good police out there trying to uphold the law and serve the people, but when there are cover ups like this and trust is broken their job gets harder because of that lack of public trust in the police force in general.
In August 2010 I called 911 for help from a locked bathroom. The man who had assaulted me heard me. I could hear him putting something in the lock of the door and I hung up. He came in and was worse than before because I had called. He demanded my phone. I had it in my hand in my pocket and refused to turn it over to him. He decided he would forcibly get it from me. I ended up on his powder room floor pinned on my side with the phone still in my hand and in my pocket. He pulled and clawed at my hand. At one point he pulled a bag clip out of my pocket shouting “Ah ha I got it” only to realize it wasn’t my phone. He was more angry after that. He grabbed my ankle and had it up on the toilet pushing on my thigh. I feared he would break my leg. I kept telling him to stop and that he was hurting me. He was in such a state of rage I’m not sure he could hear anything. Some of the events of the assault are a little jumbled due to my PTSD. I remember he pulled back and I thought he was finished. I started to get up and he pushed me back forcing me head against the toilet. He had the left side of my head forced against the toilet and his hand on my right cheek trying to force my head into the toilet. I was still pinned on the floor. I was terrified he would break my neck or drown me in the toilet. At some point I grabbed the bag clip and just started swinging at him. It turned out I got him twice, one scratch on his arm and once on his lower jaw line. He backed off. He seemed to calm down a bit and I remember saying “that was really bad. I have bad back and had difficulty getting up. I grabbed at the towel bar dislodging it from the wall. He told me to call police back and he would be nice. He repeated it and I said no. I got up and walked towards his front door. He told me to leave and I responded with the police are coming and I’d like to wait for them here. He said okay, turned and walked back into the bathroom. I pulled the phone out of my pocket and he saw it as he came out of the bathroom. He came from behind throwing me to the ground and landing on top of me. He was yelling at me that I had broken his leg. He told me to get off of him despite the fact I was below him. I am guessing he must have tripped me at the same time he pushed me because he had one leg tangled under me with the rest of him on top of me. We got our legs untangled and he was yelling I had reinjured his knee. He opened the front door checked for police and returned to the bathroom. He seemed to calm down again. I went towards the sofa to sit and wait for police. He came out saw my phone in my hand a charged at me causing me to have my pelvis impact the arm of the sofa then sending both of us on the sofa rolling to the ground as I screamed for help with everything I had. He sprang up looked out the window for police. When he saw the police in the cul de sac he RAN out to his driveway. We were neighbours who dated for approximately five years on and off. We lived on a culdesac with a forested green space beside his home and no street lights. I am guessing he saw the police car lights as they came down the street. He made sure to be the first person RCMP spoke to.
This is just the beginning of the nightmare for Debbie, as when the police got there they arrested HER.
Today 5 years later and no arrest for the man who beat her and since drove her of the road and is still stalking her, instead it has been 5 years of cover up and having to move many times for her safety and even through they say they are working on it……...the only thing has happened is that they cleared THE ARRESTING OFFICER of all wrong doing even though she violated her position, when will the cover ups stop? A civil suit is being pursued.
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The Full story continued.
I was left in his house by myself. I called my kids and father for support. The two officers came inside. I remember being dazed, in shock, confused, embarrassed and dizzy. The female officer was abrasive and cold. She asked me for my ID. I couldn’t focus enough to remember where I had put my purse down hours earlier. The male officer helped me look for it. The female officers asked me if I wanted to press charges I said no he needs counselling. Both officers left for outside, the male one to where my children and father were and the female went to talk to the aggressor. I motioned to my children to come see me. I was tearful and really needed a hug and some support. They were told to go back into our house. The female officer came in and asked me if he had told me to leave and I said yes I was standing here and then he said it was okay for me to wait for police. She left. She and the male officer returned and said they were taking me home. I was so relieved. As we walked across the grass she made a comment that I am bigger than him. It was a very odd comment because I am shorter and smaller than him. I just wanted to go home. As we got through the doors she told me she was arresting me for assault and told me to go change. I got changed and was taken with no handcuffs to jail by the male officer. My children were left at home by themselves with the man who assaulted me having a key to our home. I tried talking to the male officer. He was much nicer than the other officer. He told me it wasn’t his idea to arrest me. He offered to take me to the hospital but being a victim of abuse for all my life I just didn’t do that even when I had broken bones. When we got to jail he finger printed me, applied polysporin and a bandaid to one of my injuries on my hand, and asked if I had any medical conditions, allergies or prescriptions. I have spinal stenosis, arthritis, and endmetirosis. He looked up as soon as I said spinal stenosis a bit surprised and queried me…. I have arthritis in my spine. Allergies,,,, penicillin, codeine, morphine, beer and apples. Prescriptions… birth control pills for my endometriosis. He queried me anything else ….no… are you sure…. yes
I didn’t know at the time but my kids had tried to tell police the aggressor had assaulted me before but they were sent back into our house. No one cared.
I also didn’t realize the man who had assaulted me claimed I was bipolar and hadn’t taken my medication. He claimed I forced my way into his house and had been screaming at him for three hours and then assaulted him. None of which were true and had the officer put any thought into what he said made no sense. He had asked me to come talk to him. My children heard him. I am not physically able to force my way in his house and we both had keys to each others homes. He had opened the door to meet me when I called him to see where he was. My phone records and children could have confirmed what I said but RCMP wouldn’t talk to my kids and ignored my cellphone records.
I was held in jail until noonish. I felt so ill that at one point I requested medical help. The officer caring for the jail told me I wasn’t getting out and not to think I was going to go to hospital. They called an ambulance. The officer stood there being nasty the whole time. I tried to tell him I was the one assaulted and he said well you’re the one we arrested. The ambulance attendants told me to take some aspirin and left. I didn’t have any aspirin!
First thing the next day (Monday) I went to my doctors office no appointment and had someone check me over. I was still dizzy and confused. The doctor noted injuries literally from my head to knees. I was so distraught she was compassionate and tried to just be as quick as possible. Later when I was home I found scabs on the inside of my left ankle from where his fingernails had cut into my skin. I had my kids help look for injuries and made an appointment to have the others documented. I have a bad back from being assaulted by my father two weeks after my 19 th birthday. I don’t have complete feeling in my feet and legs and get very sore if I over do it. I don’t work out of the house and hadn’t for many years because of my back issues. I had back surgery when I was in my late 20’s and spinal injections in my late 30’s. I don’t play any sports either. Being that my back was injured when I was assaulted I was baffled how the RCMP would assume I would risk further injury for a man I had been trying to leave for a couple years.
Within days of my assault the man who assaulted me was on my front lawn mowing it. There was a peace bond on me. I couldn’t even open my door and tell him to get off my property. The following months were hell. I had a concussion, PTSD, injuries from ankle to head and someone working to get me arrested again. My kids and I had previously booked plans for a family trip a couple weeks after my being assaulted. I had to get my kids to help pack and organize me as I was such a mess.
“I was scared ” Art by Natasha
I felt ill, barely slept, rarely ate, had nightmares, dizzy, forgetful, confused…. I got a prescription from the doctor to help with the dizziness and sleep and went to Disneyworld. Our first night there I woke up at 2 in the morning frantic. I insisted the boys check the hotel room door to make sure it was locked. They tried to reassure me to no avail. I was terrified he would get in our room even though logically we were no where in his reach.
I told RCMP repeatedly I was the victim. They were called for him on our property repeatedly. We had to get surveyors out to have a fence installed to keep him off our property. He interfered with the surveyors, later hammered down the pegs and interfered with the fence installers. RCMP were called over and over again. When the fence installers came the aggressor came from behind me telling me he wanted to talk to me. Scared me so badly I ran into the house telling him I was calling police and he said to call him when they got there. He wanted me arrested again! RCMP came out talked to the installer, the aggressor and myself. I was reprimanded for not getting written permission from the aggressor to install a fence on my property. I had called bylaws prior to having the fence installed to ensure everything was done appropriately. Apparently the aggressor told them I was supposed to get permission first which was another falsehood by him. Further there was a peace bind on me…. I was not permitted to contact him directly or indirectly. If I hsd asked for permission I could have been arrested again. I told the mayor’s office, reported it to senior people in the RCMP and got no help. The officer’s Sargent was sent out to interview me at one point again under the guise they were going to correct the error. I had by that time seen the VAWIR and noted many errors in protocol by the arresting officer. Her Sargent said to me at one point he had been with the RCMP for over 20 years and in that time he had never seen a case where they arrested the aggressor, put a peace bond on them and the victim kept breaching it. I managed to hold my tongue as I sat there thinking well if you arrest the aggressor instead of the victim….. Fraser McRae called me and said the only way to correct it was for me to give a statement. I was contacted and given dates. I said repeatedly I wanted my lawyer there. Every time that was refused by RCMP. On the day of the statement I brought two friends with me and again asked for a lawyer. The Corporal refused. I had someone who had told me to get her to sign a paper stating she refused me legal counsel but she refused to sign it. I went in and I was then asked if I understood I could have a lawyer. I remember being very confused and frustrated. I was told that if I didn’t give a statement they couldn’t just correct the error and I couldn’t have a lawyer, I had just asked with witnesses if I could have a lawyer and told no and know I’m being told I’m entitled to one by the same person. My PTSD was severe and I was not permitted any support whatsoever. The interview was approximately three hours. My recollection was difficult… something normal for trauma victims. By the time I was done the corporal had to help me to walk to my friend who had waited for me. She looked surprised at how I appeared coming out. Days later she said I looked like someone who had just been told a family member was killed. My PTSD was worse again. Approximately ten days after my interview one of my cats was found dead in our above ground pool. It was February. There was a thin bit of ice on the pool and the ice was broken in the centre. I could see a short path she had tried to swim out but died before she got even a few feet from the centre. When I went to retrieve her body the man who assaulted me came to the fence asking if I needed help. I could say anything or I would be arrested. I went in the house and called my son’s school so I could pick him up and bury my cat. Days later it was my birthday. We went out for dinner as we always did. I saw him watching us. This had become a common occurrence. When we returned we heard a loud popping sound. A screw had been left on our driveway which had gone into my tire. I waited for RCMP to finally correct it only to be told they planned on prosecuting me. No one had yet interviewed anyone on my side. They had been given medical reports and phone records. My lawyer told me to expect police will lie in court. At one point I was told they planned on saying I was drunk. I rarely drink and I had had nothing… he had though.
I was offered a stay which I really didn’t feel was the right thing to do. My lawyer told me RCMP were apparently pushing hard to have me convicted. I had been forced off the road twice, glass on my driveway, watched and followed by the aggressor regularly, my cat was dead, we put the house we were in up for sale out of fear, no one had ever spoken to anyone on my side….. It really was an unimaginable situation. I had always thought Canada was a good place to live. I believed the police were the good guys. I had met a really great guy after my assault who was with the RCMP. He was a great support to me and told me he had never seen a more blatant case of cover up. He assured me the stay was really of no issue and just take and move on. I was told I could file suit if I took the stay and agreed to do so. After we moved I saw the aggressor in front of my new home. I hired a civil lawyer who reviewed the case and literally said to me how did this ever get this far? He filed suit on the aggressor, RCMP, the prosecutor…… Discoveries were booked. The first was on me. I still had terrible PTSD. I had to get my son to drive me. By then I had been informed he had told police I was bipolar. I had trouble even going in a room with the aggressor in it. He wanted to sit directly across from me. My lawyer had him moved to the other end of the table. His lawyer asked me questions for a few hours. My lawyer is a good person and I felt better with him beside me. At one point I was accused of breaking a planter pot on the first reported assaulted. The aggressor had claimed I broke his ceramic planter pot. I told his lawyer no I tipped over my planter pot which was plastic. During discoveries I was shown a picture taken by the man who assaulted me from his front yard towards my house. I’m not sure what the point was supposed to be but I was asked if that was my house and I said yes. I asked to see the picture again and then pointed out the planter his client claimed I had broken was in fact in the picture…. plastic on his property still. I was asked how I knew and I said it still had the plant in it I planted. How can you tell? Well I note the tree on my lot in that picture has no leaves but I know it’s a maple. I will assume this picture was taken in fall or spring but I planted Dianthius in it and I can still see it. Then came questions about my being bi polar. I am not. I was asked for my medical records and counselling records… I smiled and said yes they can have them. All kinds of garbage his client had told him soon came into question. When I went to leave I saw him and his lawyer by the elevator and backed away, waited several minutes and tried again to get to the parking lot and my son. I got into my son’s car and the aggressor pulled his vehicle in front of my son’s car blocking us in and smiling. I later realized the only way he could know what my son was driving was if he had been coming by our new home. We didn’t own that car when I lived beside him.
The next day the aggressor was interviewed. I couldn’t attend due to my PTSD. My lawyer called me and said the aggressor’s responses were often ridiculous. He denied stalking me and instead claimed he was trying to be friendly. He said he had mowed the lawn on the property for years and in essence had a right to do so. He had no explanation for the multitude of injuries I had. He claimed I had spent three hours yelling at him and I had assaulted him. No one would spend three hours that angry and if that was indeed the case why was I the one who called for help. I wasn’t yelling when I called 911.
“I feel alone abandoned” Art by Natasha
Months later the arresting officer was discovered. Again I couldn’t attend due to my PTSD. My lawyer called me and advised he had many questions to ask her as to why she didn’t follow protocol but ran into a problem. She stated she wasn’t sure if she was trained. The training is MANDATORY. I was sent the transcript but again my PTSD was so severe I couldn’t read more than a couple of pages. For as far as I got I saw misrepresentations. She claimed I was yelling “Asshole” at the aggressor from the front deck and was enraged but didn’t approach him as he on the driveway.
After the aggressor lawyer got the medical and counselling records I was asked to come to discoveries again. I was terrified that I would be stalked again. I was one of five people who filed complaints against RCMP for their failure to follow protocol, help me when I was being stalked, ……. I wanted to a least have a paper trail if something happened to me. His lawyer assured us his client wasn’t going to be attending just prior to discoveries. His lawyer had information on my two moves post the assault. I was so distressed to know as a victim of a stalker they can find you if you own property. He asked some questions regarding the counselling notes. The second time I was forced off the road I had an off duty RCMP officer behind me. He was someone I had dated for a short time and we are still good friends. On that day he was coming with me to the psychologist’s office. When we got there we both told her about Ed forcing me off the road. He had smiled at my friend behind me as he passed him. There were questions about my income etc. I believe he was trying to determine if I could afford to follow through with a trial. Yes I can! He also seemed to be trying to ascertain what I was looking for in compensation. I had an income that was supplied to me that had not been impacted by the assault. I wasn’t interested in double dipping. I was however forced out of my home. Due to the arrangement I had on my housing that cost me approximately $400,000.00. That I want covered. I was asked about a donation for a women’s group. My losses need to be covered first. I would love to see some kind of legal support set up so other victims arresting would have the ability to file suit if police do this again. The sad reality is a financial penalty is the most likely way to get this to stop happening. The aggressor needs to cover my losses to discourage him and others from thinking lying is the easy way out and understanding to stay away.
It has been over a year since five people filed complaints against RCMP. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was interviewed by RCMP over the complaint. I brought my lawyer because I haven’t been able to read a lot of what needs to be discussed. PTSD is an injury. There is no cure for it. It has to be managed. The assault was one part, the arrest was another, the stalking and the prosecution all continually contributed to its severity. This matter has been going on for over FIVE YEARS. I still have to be careful and as much as I know there are many good people in the RCMP, when an officer claims she wasn’t sure if she was trained, the underlying concern is calling 911 becomes a lottery. I did bring up the many inconsistency I did know of. The officer had claimed she could see the aggressor in his driveway as she drove down the street. There is a forested greenbelt beside his driveway and no street lights. It would be impossible to see him as you drove down the street. Typically someone so angry they are screaming would be going to the person not standing over 40 feet away. Had I been yelling that loud my kids and neighbours would have heard. Add to that he claimed I had been yelling at him for 3 hours. I would think if that were the case I wouldn’t have any voice left. Then comes the obvious illogical problem why did she ask me if I wanted to press charges if it was so obvious I was the aggressor. It’s in both officers notes I was asked and I said he needed counselling. According to their notes one officer was with my kids and father, and the other with the aggressor. If I was so out of control why was I left alone in his house? I was taken home to change as a courtesy according to the officer. Again if I was that out of control how and why was that done? There was no mention of my smelling from urine she instead claimed I was naked under my robe. It’s a full length robe, not revealing and I had clothes underneath other than I had taken off my jeans to rest earlier as the aggressor’s behaviour upset me to the point I had a headache. At one point I was told she planned on testifying I was intoxicated. I was in fact at home, had taken over the counter pain killers and lied down. I had witnesses but RCMP refused to talk to them. I didn’t force my way into his home he asked me to come talk to him. I had witnesses but again RCMP refused to speak to them. There is a Mental Health Act here which requires police to take individuals to the hospital if mental health is an issue. I wasn’t taken to hospital and RCMP again never checked what the aggressor had stated. There was no Primary Aggressor Assessment done. That is in fact RCMP’s own protocol. My smaller stature, health issues, the prior complaint against him for assault and a relationship history was supposed to be done. RCMP only interviewed two people on his side who had had spent no more than two hours with in the prior two years. They had no idea of what was going on. I had prior to those two years told them the aggressor was abusive. The aggressor solution for that was to tell them that we weren’t dating any more and he kept us apart. From my side he said his family was mad at me for talking to them about his abuse… it was my fault. He would tell me however that he wanted to have a future with me as I would tell him regularly he needed to get counselling and start dating other people. I would pull away and he would tell me he would behave better. The normal cycle of abusers. According the the VAWIR I was supposed to be taken to a safe place, given support (a counsellor) and encouraged to give a statement. None of that was ever done. When I gave a statement I was refused a lawyer or support. The comment regarding her not being trained was discussed. It is highly improbable she wasn’t trained and I was told her records would be reviewed. My lawyer felt it had possibly been said to reduce her responsibility. Civil law allows police to make in essence honest mistakes. Hence if she wasn’t trained, I was unmanageable she did her best. I however felt she had been given a badge, a car, a uniform, a GUN and authority and that lack of training doesn’t wash. I was told of the VAWIR after my assault. I looked it up on the internet. The officer had apparently skirted around the issue of domestic violence implying the calls were not overly common and there was no pattern of whether males or females were more likely aggressors. There is so much data on this and in fact Surrey announced more funding and an enlarged department for that sole issue in the past year. Her suggestions/claims were not only ludicrous but insulting.
Police on one hand encourage victims to report DV and on the other hand don’t understand that victims put themselves at risk by reporting. No victim is going to report anything if they feel there is a possibility of not only being assaulted/raped but arrested. RCMP have been given over five years to correct the gross injustice done to me. The aggressor to date has never been charged not even for lying to police which is in fact a chargeable offence. I live in fear and restrict my activities out of fear. The officer is still employed and I have no idea if RCMP will ever take responsibility for what was done to me and my family or keep compounding the problem.
I don’t NEED the financial compensation but it is the only thing the law allows for as compensation and I would put it to serving other victims of domestic and police violence. The arresting officer not only breached the public’s trust but abused her position and endangered my family. The RCMP are able to dismiss her. I am certain there are criminal offences she could be charged with… yet I still waiting to see what they choose to do…. honest, accountable or corruption.
Please do contact us if this story has touched you and if you have a story of your own, this kind of thing has to stop.
This happens so much they have had to create a support site to help the many who are being ignored.
For BC Canada’s violence police’s go here /Policy++On+the+Criminal+Justice+System++Response+to++Violence+Against+Women+and+Children+
Judge rakes cops over the coals for wrongful arrest
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