Toronto
2 min

Man accuses cops of assault

Birthday nookie in van turns nasty

VIOLENCE. Robert Schisler is covered in scrapes and bruises. Credit: Jan Becker

A gay man’s birthday turned into a nightmare after a violent run-in with the cops.



“During the early morning hours of Jul 22, I made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” writes Robert Schisler in a letter written the very next day to Toronto Police Services Board chair, Norm Gardner.



Days after his encounter with police, Schisler is covered with nasty bruises and scrapes. He can’t work and has difficulties walking, eating and sleeping.



At about 3am on Jul 22, Schisler was spending time in his van with an acquaintance. He was parked in a legal spot on Jarvis St – just north of Carlton St.



After a brief period, the two moved to the back of the van and drew the curtains.



“I started cuddling, snuggling him or whatever,” says Schisler.



That’s when things started to go horribly wrong.



“The next thing I know, the van is shaking and rocking back and forth and someone is trying to get in.



“And someone’s trying the doors at the same time. The next thing, someone’s tapping on the windows like they’re trying to break something.”



He looked out and saw four guys surrounding his van and decided to drive off.



He dropped off his buddy and headed east on Isabella St. At Church St, three cop cars surrounded him. He stayed in his vehicle – unsure of what was happening.



“I said: ‘What is the problem officers? What is going on? That was my question,” says Schisler.



He alleges that the police then smashed his passenger side window and began yanking him from both sides.



“They were knocking me onto the ground as fast as they could and they’re hitting me at the same time.”



Around this time he recognized some of the officers from Jarvis St and realized that they must have been undercover cops.



During this ordeal, Schisler alleges the cops were calling him “cocksucker” and “faggot.”



“Even when I was handcuffed they were still kicking me in the head and kicking me in the side and I was laying there,” alleges Schisler. “All I was saying was: ‘Help.'”



He says an officer told him he was being arrested for reckless driving and hitting an officer and ripping one of their shirts. They took him to 52 Division.



After 45 minutes he was allowed to use the phone. He says requests for water and a doctor were denied.



He was released at around 7:30am and given a September court date for charges of “dangerous operation” and “resisting or obstructing public or peace officer.”



(Staff at 52 confirm that Schisler was booked – but no other information is available.)



He hobbled over to Mount Sinai. His admission record says he was treated for “abrasions and contusions.”



He’s now on painkillers and an anti-inflammatory. His van received about $400 in damage.



Schisler has sent a copy of his Toronto Police Services Board letter to Mayor Mel Lastman, Police Chief David Boothby, councillors Kyle Rae and Olivia Chow, and the Complaint Bureau.



Schisler has been rocked by his experience.



“My feeling is that if you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?”



Schisler is looking for witnesses,