More trouble for Chilliwack man infamous for Stanley Cup riot assault

Sentenced this week for twice refusing to provide breath samples after alleged drunk driving

One of the more notorious instigators convicted of beating a Good Samaritan during the infamous Vancouver Canuck Stanley Cup riots in 2011 was in court in Chilliwack this week faces more charges for bad behaviour.

Michael John MacDonald, was sentenced on Jan. 14 to a $200 fine and received a 14-month driving prohibition for repeated impaired driving and police defiance in Chilliwack and Campbell River.

MacDonald twice refused to give samples to police after being pulled over for allegedly driving drunk, and in the second incident fled from officers.

The now 26-year-old was in the Vancouver media seven-and-a-half years ago as one of four men charged for beating Good Samaritan Robert MacKay on June 15, 2011 after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.

• READ MORE: Riots, looting erupt in Vancouver after Canucks’ loss

• READ MORE: Riot website seeks to identify suspects

MacKay was defending The Bay department store from those smashing windows when MacDonald along with many other started to attack him violently on the street.

The judge who convicted MacDonald and sentenced him to six months jail rejected the young man’s claims he was defending his girlfriend.

“When MacDonald testified that he got ‘three good shots’ in on MacKay, I had the clear impression that MacDonald was boasting about those, ‘good shots,”’ Judge Greg Rideout told the court.

“Without question, the lower body blows were precise, powerful and designed to cause harm.”

Youtube video of Vancouver riot from 2011.

He was convicted of assault, mischief and taking part in a riot, and he was sentenced to six months jail for the assault.

Since then, the now 26-year-old has made several further bad decisions, which was blamed in court this week many years after his initial crimes, on mental health issues, including a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his lawyer.

In provincial court in Chilliwack on Jan. 14, Crown counsel Henry Waldock outlined the “two for one” case involving impaired driving as a joint submission for sentencing. The first incident in Chilliwack on July 2, 2017 saw MacDonald caught doing 70 km/hr in a 50 km/hr on Watson Road after midnight. He was pulled over and refused to give a breath sample, despite the officer explaining that a refusal to provide a sample is a criminal charge.

Then on Jan. 14, 2018, a business owner in Campbell River caught MacDonald outside apparently trying to steal a licence plate off a vehicle. MacDonald took off, police were called, he was pulled over.

He asked to urinate beside his truck, the Mountie allowed him to, at which time he bolted.

“He took off running and a foot chase began,” Waldock said.

MacDonald was caught, handcuffed, placed in a cruiser where he again refused to provide a breath sample.

Both Waldock and Judge Robert Gunnell lectured MacDonaldabout his behaviour.

“What you have is a pattern of Mr. MacDonald not wanting to provide breath samples,” Waldock said during a joint submission on sentencing. “Crown’s concern here is he poses a danger to the public when drinking and driving.

“Driving is a privilege not a right and he is going to lose that privilege for a while.”

In handing down the sentence, Judge Gunnell agreed.

“You don’t deserve to be driving when you are driving like this,” he said. “The safety of the public is important.”

MacDonald’s lawyer told the court that her client understands the serious danger of driving drunk. It was pointed out as a mitigating factor that he had been out of trouble since his Campbell River arrest a year ago.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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