Centennial Park in Duncan, B.C. (Google Maps)

B.C. teen who brutally attacked man playing tennis alone loses appeal

Teen tried to claim he was acting in self defense, but B.C. Court of Appeal judge disagreed

A teen who took part in an attack against a man playing tennis alone in a Vancouver Island park, leaving him maimed and disfigured, has lost his appeal that argued he was acting in self-defense.

The 15-year-old youth, whose name is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon in April 2018. A B.C. appeals court judge dismissed his appeal on Oct. 25 in Vancouver, according to court documents published Wednesday.

The teen, referred to in the decision as A.A., was one of four youth found guilty of assault-related charges in connection to the incident at Centennial Park in Duncan in August 2016.

A provincial judge heard during the teen’s initial trial that the group of youth were walking by a tennis court where they saw a 52-year-old man named B.B. hitting a tennis ball against a wall on one of the courts. The group called the man a “loner” or “loser” at least twice before the man lobbed a tennis ball towards them, sparking one of the other teens, dubbed E.E., to shout further insults.

The man then exited the tennis court with his tennis racket in hand and chased the youth into a wooded area – a move the man himself called an “aggressive pursuit,” which he anticipated would end in some kind of physical confrontation that would include pushing, shoving, and possible punching.

Accounts of exactly what happened in the woods are varied, according to testimony and evidence brought forward by police.

READ MORE: B.C. teen, sexually abused by father, wins court appeal to change her last name

According to the man, pushing ensued between E.E. and the man for about 30 to 40 seconds before he was hit in the back of the head with an object, the court heard. The man said he backed away, telling the youth to stop, before pushing and shoving with the same teen recommenced until he was hit again. The man identified E.E. as the youth who hit him a third time with the racket, while calling him a “little b***.”

His next memory was waking up in the woods, with the youth nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, the teen appealing his conviction, A.A., told police that he punched the man in the face before he started fighting with E.E., who hit the man in the ribs with a log. The teen also said that the man had pushed him into a pile of sticks, cutting his leg, before E.E. hit the man again – this time in the head.

As the youth were walking away, maybe 15 to 20 steps, the man picked up a log lying on the trail and said “one of you is going to die,” before running towards them. He hit A.A. in the hip, neck and forearm with the log, the court heard. The teen then punched the man in the face, again, as well as kicked him in the knee. As the man fell to the ground, another teen kicked him in the face – believed to be E.E.

The man was left with severe and permanent injuries, the court hear, including broken bones in his face which required surgery to repair.

The presiding judge had determined that the teen’s initial response of punching and shoving the man who was similar in size was proportional to the man’s force but that he should have walked away after knocking the man to the ground.

“A.A. was a young man, approximately six feet tall, who played competitive football, and had the advantage of at least one other teen fighting alongside him,” the decision reads.

“In particular, the judge found that once B.B. [the man] was on the ground a second time, it was no longer necessary for A.A. to continue striking him.”

Because the judge couldn’t determine beyond a reasonable doubt who caused the specific injuries suffered by the man, A.A. was acquitted of aggravated assault.

In his appeal, the teen’s lawyer argued that the judge never asked if the teen felt threatened by the man, nor adequately considered his young age at the time of the incident.

But Justice Patrice Abrioux disagreed, siding with Crown counsel that the teen was old enough to know what he was doing when the fight broke out and that while he may have started acting in self defense, the teen’s actions did turn into retaliation with the intent to injure the man.

“Of significance is that the judge found A.A.’s use of the tennis racket to attack B.B. objectively unreasonable—it was unnecessary, gratuitous, and no longer proportionate to the threat of force he previously faced.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Winter weather, burst pipes, destroys Cradles to Moccasins space

Prince Rupert’s North Coast Community Services looking for temporary space to house services

Senior Rainmakers take both games against visiting Brookswood Secondary

Charles Hays sweeps the weekend series against the AAA Langley side

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Commercial fishing concerns over North Coast marine protected areas

Fishermen of the Northern Shelf Bioregion seek solutions through consultations

BC Green Party leader visits Wet’suwet’en camps at heart of pipeline conflict

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada and First Nations

VIDEO: Bobcat infiltrates Shuswap couple’s coop, feasts on fowl

Police officers credited for attempting to assist with animal’s extraction

WEB POLL: Are you in favour of LNG exports from the North Coast?

AlaskCAN LNG recently announced their goal of building a $12 billion LNG… Continue reading

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

VIDEO: B.C. mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Most Read