Friday, October 7, 2022


I did some serious thinking yesterday when I learned through the Waterloo Region Record that the Crown (prosecutor) had decided not to pursue the criminal charges of assault and uttering threats to two brothers, presumably co-owners, of Milton's Bar & Grill. I was unimpressed with various arguments from the Crown prosecutor suggesting that apologies to the victim  (but a Not Guilty plea to the charges) and a donation to charity helped make the decision to drop the criminal charges. I was more impressed with the claim by the Crown that the victim who suffers from autism and anxiety leading to panic attacks was unwilling to go to court and be examined and cross-examined in the case.

Then today Luisa D"Amato straightened out my thinking with her Opinion piece titled "We all got cheated when charges were dropped". First of all there was a ton of evidence regarding the threats and the physical assault upon the man who entered the restaurant with his service dog, looking for a meal. There is video evidence and there are a number of witnesses who were present at the assault and forcible removal of the man who are able and willing to testify. Can you imagine if the charge was murder and the Crown dared to suggest that charges be dropped because the victim was unable or unwilling to testify? That would be ridiculous just as in this situation. Does the Crown wish to send a message to violent criminals that if they either fully intimidate their rape and or assault victims into not testifying or worse yet kill them that charges will not be laid and or dropped at a later date? I certainly hope not. In this particular case it is quite possible/likely that the two brothers involved are not and hopefully never have been violent criminals. It is possible that they made a huge error in judgement but they most certainly crossed a line the moment they instigated a physical altercation with their customer. For this assault charges are warranted. Presumably after a conviction the Judge would consider carefully the appropriate penalty. It would be far less odious if the Judge determined that the apologies, charitable donations and loss of business and reputation were sufficient penalty than the dropping of all charges. That is not right.     

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