15 year-old Vandross Cox-Durrant, said he was playing football with his friends one day when the authorities were called, and a Police Community Support Officer manhandled and arrested him – something he did not hold the power to do.
Vandross stated he and 9 friends were at a sports centre they always used. When a group arrived who had booked the court beforehand, they simply moved onto another, unaware that the police had been called for trespassing.
PCSO Mr Pearce arrived on the scene shortly after. He claims that Vandross met him with a provocative manner, saying ‘f*** the police’ whilst sitting on his bike. He said he felt threatened as discussions because heated and escalated, and when Vandross moved towards him he though he was about to attack, so put his arms up in defence. This allegedly made Vandross lose his balance and they both fell to the floor. Pearce stated he arrested him because he thought he may be in danger of physical violence.
Vandross was left with grazes to the knees, cuts on his wrist and scratches on the neck. He said that he had asked Pearce to stop because he was hurting, but that he continued to pull his arm up his back towards his neck. His friend videoed the event, which has resulted in Pearce being given restricted duties in a non public-facing role, whilst an internal investigation is carried out. The video can be seen below:
Vandross said that he could not breathe with the officer’s full weight on top of him, and that they had offered to pay for the court they were using which was why he was so shocked the incident had occurred. However, both sides are conflicting, with Pearce maintaining that he warned them they would be arrested, although not by himself as he did not expect he would have to take action, if they continued their aggressive behaviour.
Vandross said he was extremely scared when the police took him away and he was in custody, but that it did not really hit him until he was released. He was offered £3,500 in compensation, however he and his family refused to take the money on principle. His grandmother stated she could not believe someone had done that to a 15 year-old boy.
If you have been involved in an unprovoked physical attack, contact us now for advice on claiming compensation.