Pepper-Spray Victim Sues Security Guard, Companies That Hired Him

Andrew Harris, the Magnolia resident who was pepper-sprayed earlier this year by a private security guard, is suing the security guard, James Toomey, Central Protection, the firm that employs him, and the Magnolia Patrol Association, a group formed by homeowners to hire private security to patrol the neighborhood.

Harris, who was working two jobs and living in his car at the time, says he was sleeping when Toomey approached and began banging on his window and trying to open his door. An altercation ensued, in which Toomey pepper-sprayed Harris repeatedly, handcuffed him, and detained him until the police arrived. Toomey has disputed elements of Harris’ account and said he was in “complete fear for my life” when he approached the Harris; he also has a significant criminal record, including a previous pepper-spray incident for which he was arrested and charged, which you can read more about here.

The complaint describes the extensive criminal records of several Central Protection employees, including owner Denis Kurdija, who was accused of sexual assault in 2013 by a patron of the Sarajevo Lounge in Belltown, which Kurdija also owns. I’ve written more about Central Protection employees’ criminal backgrounds here. It also provides a very detailed account, from Harris’ point of view, of what happened when Toomey confronted him; Harris says Toomey pepper-sprayed him six separate times, then handcuffed him and called 911 to report that Harris  was “smoking drugs of some sort,” which Harris denies. And it lays out the ways in which Toomey’s account to police who arrived on the scene differs from what the told the 911 dispatcher when he called, which I wrote about here

The lawsuit seeks financial damages for physical and emotional injuries (pain and suffering) from Toomey, Central Protection, and the Magnolia Patrol Association.

Central Protection continues to patrol the Magnolia neighborhood, looking for signs of “suspicious” behavior.

2 thoughts on “Pepper-Spray Victim Sues Security Guard, Companies That Hired Him”

  1. Excellent. The anti-homeless crowd in this city needs to learn there are actual, real risks to hiring bargain basement goons to harass homeless people.

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