A man who directed and watched the brutal beating of a Grade 9 student as revenge for his teen son 11 years ago has been ordered to pay the victim nearly half a million dollars.
The man, 45 years old at the time, planned the attack outside a high school in Delta, a city in the Greater Vancouver Area, according to a written decision handed down by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker last week and first reported by CBC.
The victim, identified by the initials RS in the court documents, had punched the man’s Grade 8 son in the face during an argument at school after the son approached him to say he kissed RS’s girlfriend, according to the documents.
The teens involved cannot be named due to a publication ban on the criminal case, although last week’s Supreme Court ruling names the attacker and the victim.
Several weeks after the teens had their argument, on an afternoon in April 2009, the man–identified by the initials MT–drove out looking for RS with his older son in the front seat of his truck and two adult men in the back.
When the man spotted RS just outside the school grounds, he “drove his truck into the oncoming lane of travel and came to an abrupt stop, causing the tires to screech,” then turned to the back seat and said something like “Go get him,” the documents say.
According to the documents, the men in the back got out of the truck and RS tried to run away, but was tripped. The men started beating on him with their fists and at least one metal baton. At one point, MT ordered the men to stop and sent his older son to jump in.
When the attack was over, MT walked up to RS, put his arm around his shoulder, and said something to the effect of, “Are we even now?” according to the documents.
RS went back to the school for help, where staff called an ambulance. The victim was left with two black eyes, a concussion, a fractured nose, and bruising.
MT was convicted of two counts of assault causing bodily harm in 2011—for orchestrating the attack and headbutting a student who tried to intervene—and sentenced to six months in jail.
RS launched a civil lawsuit against MT in 2013, seeking $607,000 in damages.
RS, who is now 26 years old with a wife and two children according to the documents, says he has suffered from paranoia and anxiety since the attack, as well as severe back pain and headaches that sometimes induce vomiting.
He has struggled to keep jobs and is on medical disability.
“His psychological symptoms are akin to PTSD,” the decision reads. “His physical and psychological injuries have affected all aspects of his life.”
When the case went to trial earlier this year, MT represented himself and cross-examined RS.
Walker wrote in his decision that RS was “visibly shaking with anger” during parts of the cross-examination and that MT “did not apologize or express remorse when giving his evidence.”
The judge ruled that MT must pay RS $479,000 to cover aggravated damages, future care costs, and loss of capacity to earn money.
Robert Gordon, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University, said it is extremely unusual for a parent to orchestrate a violent attack.
“Conspiring to hire people to go and settle a high school dispute is outrageous; it’s outlandish,” Gordon said.
“Clearly the full weight of both the criminal and the civil law is coming down on the individual, and that’s appropriate. This sort of thuggery really is totally unacceptable. I can’t imagine what kind of example that’s setting to other kids and for that matter, other fathers.”
Gordon said it is not uncommon for dads to lash out physically at their sons’ hockey games.
In 2013, a Vancouver man was sentenced to 15 days in jail after he was caught on video tripping a 13-year-old player while coaching his son’s team.
Follow Kevin Maimann on Twitter.