B.C. court upholds road rage sentence

Court upholds sentence

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has upheld the sentence of a man convicted of crimes stemming from a road rage incident.

Brent Wei Kuen Chow pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and causing damage to a motor vehicle, charges arising “out of what is commonly known as a road rage incident” in Surrey on Oct. 13, 2020, Justice Paul Riley said in an April 9 decision.

A provincial court judge sentenced Chow to $2,500 in fines and placed him on 12 months’ probation.

What happened

Chow and Mr. Adjijaj were westbound on 100 Avenue and stopped at a red light, when Chow showed him his middle finger.

Adjijaj responded in kind, Riley said.

Holding a knife with a black handle and serrated edge, Chow got out of his vehicle and struck Adjijaj’s vehicle.

Then, as Adjijaj was rolling down the driver’s side window, Chow smashed the window out with the butt end of the knife.

Chow then struck “Adjijaj in the head with the knife, causing Mr. Adjijaj to bleed profusely, with blood running down his forehead into his face,” the ruling said.

Adjijaj got out of his vehicle and the two men engaged in a physical struggle.

That happened in full view of people on the street, at least one of whom recorded the incident on a cellphone.

Chow got Adjijaj in a headlock and the knife fell to the ground; Adjijaj then seemed to get the upper hand. He got out of the headlock, hit Chow in the head several times and picked up the knife.

Adjijaj stabbed Chow rapidly seven or eight times and then threw the knife into the bushes, according to the ruling.

Again, they started fighting and Adjijaj got Chow in a headlock.

Police arrived and took both into custody. Both were taken to hospital.

Adjijaj was treated for a laceration on his forehead and a contusion to the top of his head.

Chow suffered a stab wound to his stomach resulting in a laceration of his liver that required surgery, a scalp wound that had to be closed with staples and stab wounds to his back and upper arm.

The case

Chow had no previous criminal record and the trial judge found that apart from his role in the road rage incident leading to the charges, Chow was “otherwise a productive member of the community running his own business and employing others.”

Adjijaj gave the court an impact statement saying the incident left him with reluctance to leave his home, feelings of distrust and a sense of paranoia in public places, a lack of focus and composure at work, and a fear of chance encounters with Chow.

Adjijaj was convicted of assault in the incident and was sentenced separately and received a discharge.

The appeal

Chow’s lawyer argued the sentencing judge erred in laying too much focus on the prevalence of road rage incidents without evidence.

The lawyer argued Chow should have the sentence replaced with a conditional discharge.

Riley said the prevalence of road rage was something the judge could note.

“The point was raised in submissions,” Riley said. “Counsel for Mr. Chow had the opportunity to address it but chose to focus her submissions on other things.”

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