Vancouver Stanley Cup riot suspect clearly shown in video evidence, prosecutor tells trial
VANCOUVER — An accused rioter who has pleaded not guilty to rioting and assaulting emergency personnel should be found guilty, despite his lawyer’s anticipated arguments he was an excited bystander who acted in self defence, Crown told his trial on Wednesday.
Dustin Wade Jewell Anderson pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial in April before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nathan Smith in Vancouver. He is accused of assaulting Vancouver police Const. Darin McDougall and firefighter Dale Maffei and of participating in the riot.
Anderson, wearing an untucked striped black and grey shirt with the sleeves rolled up, at times sat forward in his seat in the defendant’s box to get a closer look at a courtroom video screen; at others he stretched out, his hands clasped behind his head.
Anderson is one of only a handful of suspected rioters among about 300 charged who have pleaded not guilty. Five others who pleaded not guilty have been convicted and one acquitted.
Crown prosecutor Rod Flannigan argued that evidence showed Anderson “aggressively confronting, obstructing and assaulting” the two first responders after Game 7 between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins on June 15, 2011.
And he clearly was an active participant and instigator in the riot, not an observer, as Flannigan anticipated Anderson’s lawyer will argue in his closing arguments Thursday.
“He’s walking right up to the police line,” said Flannigan, replaying video in court. “There’s a bit of a swagger, in my submission. That’s not an excited onlooker. That’s someone who’s participating.”
After being pepper-sprayed, Anderson approached firefighters on Hamilton Street, demanding treatment, but they told to get help elsewhere. He responded by punching Maffei in the face when Maffei tried to get him to leave.
He later repeatedly swung a shopping bag he was carrying at McDougall, who deflected the blows with his shield.
After he “sucker-punched” Maffei, at which the crowd is heard on video saying “whoa” in unison, Anderson danced around and took a fighting stance.
Flannigan said the defence lawyer, who called no evidence during the trial, is expected to argue his client was defending himself.
“He was puffed up like a peacock and he was looking for a fight,” said Flannigan in arguing that the punch, which broke Maffei’s glasses and caused marks that lasted 10 days, couldn’t be considered self-defence. “He struck a firefighter in a uniform with a riot going on. It was violent punch and it was excessive.”
Anderson has admitted it’s him in the video, but said he didn’t assault anyone or participate in the five-hour riot that caused $4 million in damage.
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