Former gangster sues over Surrey Pretrial Services Centre attack

Abbotsford's Daniel Cunningham claims guards ignored his screams during a five-hour beating by inmates.

A former gang member is suing the B.C. government, claiming he endured a brutal five-hour beating by fellow inmates, just steps away from a guard desk at Surrey Pretrial Services Centre.

A civil suit filed last week by Abbotsford’s Daniel Cunningham alleges he suffered brain damage and multiple broken bones after other prisoners forced him into a cell and kicked, punched and stomped on him.

“The plaintiff had his head forced into the toilet water several times in an attempt to drown him,” the court document reads. “He was forced to lick his own blood off the shoes of his attackers and clean his blood off the floor and walls using his clothes.”

Cunningham, 35, claims he was knocked out at least three times and sometimes pretended to be dead. He said pretrial centre guards failed to respond to his screams or notice he wasn’t in his cell. He said they also didn’t respond when other inmates were egging on the attack, yelling to “knock his teeth out,” “kick him in the face” and “drown him in the toilet.”

He allegedly screamed repeatedly and banged on the closed cell door.

The claim says the cell where the assault took place was about three metres away from the guard control desk. He alleges he was hidden under bags and clothes when guards did their checks, and they didn’t intervene until his cellmate activated an alarm.

The lawsuit says Cunningham was arrested and remanded to Surrey Pretrial Services Centre in April 2015 on drug trafficking charges. He pleaded guilty on June 11 and was sentenced to six months jail, promising in open court to leave gang life.

Because of an outstanding robbery charge, however, he was returned to the Surrey centre. He says he expressed concern about the return and told pretrial staff that “if it became known that he intended to leave the lifestyle, he would be at risk of violence from members or affiliates of the Red Scorpions.” He was returned nonetheless.

Cunningham accuses the guards of negligence and misfeasance for “knowingly permitted the assault.”

He is seeking damages for his injuries and for violations of his Charter rights. He is now in protective custody.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

B.C. Corrections has yet to file a response.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read