From Iceland — Security Guard Assault Will Lead To Lawsuit

Security Guard Assault Will Lead To Lawsuit

Published June 6, 2012

The victim of an assault from a security guard at the bus station Hlemmur says that he is not homeless, that he intends to press charges against the guard and take his employers to court. Other details of the story have since arisen that shed more light on the conflict between these two.
As reported, Grapevine intern Byron Wilkes witnessed and recorded a security guard at Hlemmur slapping, kicking, and then dragging a man out of the bus station while yelling at him. Strætó director Reynir Jónsson emphasised that the guard acted inappropriately, telling the Grapevine, “[Guards] are obliged to call the police if there is a physical threat. They are not supposed to take the law into their own hands unless absolutely necessary to fight back or in self-defense… but not proactively engage in any physical contact.”
The story has since caught on with the rest of the Icelandic media, and in interviewing the different parties involved, two conflicting sides of the story have arisen.
DV spoke to the guard in question, Andrés Björgvinsson, who has been fired for the assault. Andrés contends that the conflict between him and the victim, Gunnlaugur Jóhann Friðgeirsson, goes back to when a female friend of Gunnlaugur’s spat out her false teeth at Andrés and then stepped on them, ruining them. Gunnlaugur, for his part, contends that Andrés roughed up his female friend to the extent that her false teeth fell out, and that he then stepped on them himself.
Since then, Gunnlaugur has asked when Andrés intends to pay for these false teeth. Both agree on that point. However, Andrés contends that on the occasion of the assault, Gunnlaugur had approached him, screaming, had threatened Andrés’ family, and that he has been threatened and assault many times in the past. With this particular incident, Andrés then snapped. Andrés says that he regrets his actions, and knows he should have called the police.
At the same time, Gunnlaugur says he resents being described in the media as homeless – he in fact has his own apartment, and works for a living. He also told Vísir that he intends to press charges against Andrés, and will also take Strætó bs. – his employer – to court for damages.
The video of the assault can be seen here:

Security Guard Throws Man Out Of Hlemmur from Reykjavík Grapevine on Vimeo.

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