CALGARY – Was [the accused] being a helpful citizen or a vigilante when he pursued a teen into a residence after the teen allegedly assaulted a man with his skateboard outside a Cochrane bar? That’s what a jury must decide.
That’s what a six-man, six-woman jury now must decide.
“[the accused] is here for doing what he believed to be the right thing,” defence lawyer Pat Fagan said in his final argument to the jury today.
“You have to ask yourself: Has the law changed so much we are not able to help each other anymore? As Canadians, what would we have [the accused] do?”
Fagan said it was obvious the skateboarder, Tyler Hoekstra, now 19, attacked Perry Burton. It is alleged that Burton smacked Hoekstra in the face for making noise boarding on the sidewalk in front Cumbrian Arms on June 26, 2006.
[the accused] saw Burton laying motionless in a pool of blood, and his lawyer argued that gave him the authority to join another bar patron in pursuing Hoekstra to the home about a half-kilometre away.
Fagan said [the accused] followed Hoekstra through an open door because he believed he hurt the man seriously or even killed him and was not certain what Hoekstra was capable of doing. He followed him to an upstairs bedroom but, after he had the door slammed on him, left the home.
[the accused] is on trial for break-and-enter to commit mischief and for causing damage to a door inside the home, where Hoekstra had sought refuge.
Hoekstra was never charged for the apparent assault on Burton.
Crown prosecutor Roy Smith argued the accused had no legal authority to enter the home and cause the damage.
“Yes, the initial pursuit is what we hope citizens would do,” Smith told the jury. [the bar patron] didn’t go into the residence, he did what we’d expect a person to do: keep (Hoekstra) inside and call police.
“We wouldn’t want a stranger barging into your house without explanation . . . [the accused] wanted to extract vengeance, grab on to the kid and hurt him for what he’d seen him do.”
The jury is to begin deliberations Wednesday.