Whether or not a teenager accused of a violent assault on an 85-year-old man in Abbotsford will be released on bail is still uncertain after a hearing in provincial court in Chilliwack on Tuesday.
Brandon William Janveaux is charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm for allegedly punching the elderly man in the face, unprovoked, as he stood at a bus stop on Nov. 24, 2019.
Crown asked the court to detain the 19-year-old while defence asked for bail under strict conditions, but the hearing was not resolved and is due back in court on Dec. 12.
Evidence at bail hearings in court in B.C. cannot be published as it is subject to publication bans.
One witness to the alleged incident on Nov. 24, who asked not to be named given the multiple charges Janveaux faces on other files, said the attack was like an “awful scene out of a movie.”
The witness told The Progress she saw Janveaux standing about 10 metres away from the 85-year-old before the accused ran at him and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. The young man fled the scene, and according to an Abbotsford Police Department (APD) spokesperson, Janveaux was found in a nearby ravine. Sgt. Judy Bird said she did not know what weapon Janveaux is alleged to have used, but more than one witness said it was brass knuckles.
Janveaux currently has two other serious charges before the courts. He is set to go to trial on Jan. 16, 2020 on charges of occupying a vehicle knowing that a firearm is present, possessing a firearm without a licence, and carrying a weapon or prohibited device on Sept. 30, 2018 in Chilliwack.
He also faces a trial March 20, 2020 for two counts of assault with a weapon and two counts of breaching his bail conditions on June 17, 2019 in Chilliwack.
While bail hearings weigh whether or not releasing an accused is in the best interests of the public, granting bail is the default position of courts, according to a Supreme Court of Canada decision from earlier this year.
“In the pre-trial context, release — at the earliest opportunity and in the least onerous manner — is the default presumption in Canadian criminal law,” Justice Richard Wagner wrote in a 9-0 decision. “Pre-trial detention is the exception, not the rule.”