Video of baseball bat assault shown in Kelowna court Thursday

Baseball bat attack on trial

A video of a a serious baseball bat assault in the parking lot of a Kelowna hotel was played in Kelowna court Thursday morning

Following three days of evidentiary applications this week, the aggravated assault trial for George Young began Thursday in Kelowna court. Young, 42, is accused of striking Tyler Takeda multiple times with a baseball bat on the afternoon of Aug. 14, 2021, in the parking lot of the Econolodge on the corner of Gordon Drive and Harvey Avenue.

During her opening statements, Crown prosecutor Mallory Treddenick said a bystander's cellphone video of the assault is “the most compelling piece of evidence” in the case.

The video, played in court Thursday morning, begins mid-altercation, between a man in a red shirt and a man in a black shirt with a white Puma logo. The video shows two men standing near a black pickup truck, when the man in the black shirt strikes the other with a pink baseball bat. The first strike appears to hit the other man's arms as he tries to block his upper body, while the second strike hits the man flush in the torso.

The victim remains standing after the two strikes. The extent of Tekeda's injuries are not clear yet, at this point in the trial.

The video then shows a third shirtless person intervenes in the altercation and the bat-wielding man walks away.

“He hit him four times in the head!” an unseen bystander can be heard yelling, but the video appears to only capture two of the strikes.

Const. Kevin Hess of the Kelowna RCMP testified Thursday he believes the suspect walked away from the scene down Leon Avenue, while the victim in the assault drove away in the black truck and attended Kelowna General Hospital.

In her opening statements, Treddenick said she believes the main issues in the case will be proving the identity of the bat-wielding suspect caught on camera, and she also noted that Young may argue an issue of self defence or defence of another person.

She noted the victim, Takeda, will not be testifying for the Crown in the trial.

Following the incident, Const. Hess and other officers canvassed the neighbourhood for the suspect, but he wasn't located.

Police attended a nearby home, where they believed the suspect, Young, resided. It's not clear what led police to the home, and Const. Jason Hammer, an RCMP officer who attended the home, testified in cross-examination that he wasn't sure whose idea it was to go to the home.

Young wasn't there, but Treddenick said police eventually secured a search warrant for the home, and found a pink baseball bat inside, along with medicine bottles with both Young's and Takeda's names.

Young eventually attended the home and was arrested. While he was shirtless, he was carrying a black t-shirt with the white Puma logo as seen in the video. His white shoes and black shorts also matched the attacker in the video.

Treddenick said she expects the Crown's case to carry through until Feb. 15, with testimony from several RCMP officers, a forensic lab technician, eyewitnesses, and healthcare personnel who attended to Takeda at KGH.

Young was previously convicted of criminal negligence causing death and failing to remain at the scene back in 2011, for running over Joel Reimer in the early hours of New Year's Day 2010, following a fight between the two men. Young was initially charged with second-degree murder, but he took a plea deal with the Crown and was sentenced to 6.5 years.

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