In March 2015, Coalmont resident Roland Giroux drove his car into the town’s only telephone booth with Warren Spence in it. Giroux was found guilty on July 24 in (Black Press file photo)

Judge finds man guilty in bizarre assault trial where Coalmont’s only payphone destroyed

Roland Giroux convicted of assault charges related to striking man in telephone booth with vehicle

A Similkameen man has pleaded not guilty to two assault charges related to driving his vehicle into a telephone booth while another man was inside.

Roland Giroux, who has been charged with one count of assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm, is accused of hitting Warren Spence with his vehicle while he was making a telephone call in the Village of Coalmont’s only telephone booth on March 29, 2015.

According to the agreed statement of facts read in Supreme Court in Penticton during a trial on Tuesday, Giroux drove past Spence and then turned his vehicle around, changing its direction and lined it up with the telephone booth while Spence was in it.

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The accused allegedly stopped for a few seconds before accelerating quickly, ramming his vehicle into the telephone booth. The booth was completely destroyed and knocked off its foundation with Spence managing to leap out and over the vehicle.

Giroux allegedly said, “If I can get this car going, I’m going to finish the job,” when he got out and tried to strike Spence with his walking stick. The statement of facts also say that Spence had to arm himself with a shovel, using it to scare Giroux away.

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The court heard from two witnesses on July 23, Dr. Ella Munro of Princeton General Hospital and Penticton neurologist Dr. Niall Davidson.

Dr. Munro, who is a witness for the defence and treated Giroux when he came in with the RCMP after the incident, is Giroux’s family physician. Over the years, she has treated him for a slew of health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, a brain injury and skull fractures from a snowmobile accident and blindness in his right eye. He was also diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014.

Munro said in court that Giroux told her his heart had been racing and he was experiencing dizzy spells. When he arrived in the emergency room in Princeton, he had a laceration straight through his lip, which she said she thought might have been caused by a loss of consciousness at the time of the impact.

But after a 72-hour observation period, Munro said his heart rate was stable and there was nothing to explain the incident. She also said that after further CT scans months later and an anaylsis from Dr. Davidson, Giroux could have suffered a seizure, resulting from epilepsy.

The trial is expected to last two days, with Giroux taking the stand Tuesday afternoon.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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