Despite his denial, a Kamloops man has been convicted on a charge he attacked the manager of a downtown store “forcefully and without warning” after being asked to leave.
Tristan Fernandez, 27, was found guilty Friday following a trial earlier this year on a single count of assault causing bodily harm.
Court heard Fernandez was asked by store manager Kevin Ellison to leave the London Drugs on Lansdowne Street just before 6 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2021. The store was about to close for the day.
Ellison was attacked moments later as he held the store’s front door open for another customer. Fernandez rode by on a bicycle and smashed into Ellison with his shoulder.
Ellison suffered neck pain and a broken tooth as a result of the collision. He did not get a good look at the cyclist, but Fernandez was seen by a woman in the area and caught on video surveillance riding his bike through Lansdowne Village at the same time.
Fernandez denied the attack and defence lawyer Joe Killoran suggested the contact was accidental, but they did not sway Kamloops provincial court Judge Lorianna Bennett.
“When I consider all the evidence as a whole, I find Mr. Fernandez’s version of events unbelievable,” the judge said.
"The only inference I can draw is that Mr. Fernandez intended to strike Mr. Ellison, an individual who had approached Mr. Fernandez in the retail store a number of times in the past. Mr. Fernandez intended to retaliate and he did so forcefully and without warning when Mr. Ellison was not looking, and within minutes of being asked by him on the most recent occasion to leave the store premises.”
Lawyers will return to court next week to set a date for sentencing. Fernandez remains in custody.