Bar stabbing trial starts

The victim of a stabbing incident at a Penticton bar testified in court Tuesday that his white shirt was red and torn and there was blood everywhere following a fight.

The testimony was the first given by a witness at the jury trial for Joshua Pio in a Penticton court room.

Pio is facing charges including aggravated assault and assault with a weapon, stemming from the incident on Jan. 1, 2012 at The Barking Parrot.

During questioning by crown counsel Mallory Treddenick, victim Dwayne Gabriel said he was at the bar for a birthday party and stayed for the New Year's countdown.

Afterwards all his friends went to The Mule, and he and his girlfriend went outside the Barking Parrot for a cigarette.

They passed Pio, and because he had not seen him since high school, Gabriel asked his name.

They went together to the sitting area where Gabriel confronted Pio with what he had been saying on Facebook about him, including that he was a pussy and racist comments.

That is when Pio flipped out, flipping the table and saying he wasn't scared of him and was going to kill him, Gabriel testified.

The witness said he dodged the first punch, then started punching back.

The two were fighting back and forth when people, bouncers and bystanders, rushed in and broke them up.

Gabriel said it was after they were pulled apart that he realized Pio had a knife, with the blade coming out through his fingers.

He recalled being taken to the men's washroom and looking in the mirror and seeing blood everywhere and a big gash.

He was taken out the emergency exit to an ambulance, but because he has a phobia about ambulances, he was given a ride home.

His dad convinced him to go to the hospital, where he got stitches on his forehead, back and arm.

After getting stitched up, he was sore for a month or so, said Gabriel.

He claims he had about eight beers that evening, and wasn't wasted, just buzzed and still able to function.

Defence lawyer Ian McAndrews suggested to Gabriel that he told police in his statement that he was coming back in when he passed Pio, not going out.

McAndrews also suggested that Pio doesn't have a Facebook page and that it was through someone telling him he found out about the comments.

He then asked Gabriel if they had been in fights in the past, asking him if he remembered being banned from a friend's house for beating Pio up and if he recalled beating him up after school hours.

He further suggested that Gabriel punched Pio first during the incident, just like he had done in the past. To which Gabriel responded, "no".

As McAndrews concluded his questioning, Gabriel was asked if he had a criminal record for an assault in 2002.

Gabriel responded, it was a school fight and he lived in Lethbridge at the time.

The trial will continue this week, with the crown expected to call eight witnesses.



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