Judge sides with Good Samaritan who chased assault suspect

[A] would-be Good Samaritan won’t have a criminal record for breaking a door while chasing an assault suspect into a home.

Justice Adele Kent yesterday said [the accused] believed he was “doing the right thing,” when he pursued a skateboarder into a private residence.

A jury in April found [the accused], 30, guilty of mischief for damaging a door behind which Tyler Hoekstra took refuge.

Jurors acquitted [the accused] of a more serious charge of break and enter, ruling he was justified in chasing Hoekstra.

[the accused] pursued Hoekstra after seeing him strike and knock out a man with his skateboard outside a Cochrane bar, Kent noted.

She said based on [the accused] observation he was right in believing an assault had taken place and Hoekstra was attempting to fell justice.

The Court of Queen’s Bench judge agreed with defence lawyer Pat Fagan that an absolute discharge, preventing [the accused] from getting a criminal record, was warranted.

She said it would be contrary to the public’s interest for [the accused] to receive a criminal record for such conduct.

Outside court, Fagan said the ruling was the right one.

“In the Province of Alberta it’s still lawful to be a Good Samaritan” he said.