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Stanley Cup rioter found guilty of assaulting firefighter, police officer

The first accused in the Stanley Cup riot to be tried in B.C. Supreme Court was found guilty Thursday of three riot-related charges.
Dustin Anderson takes a break outside B.C. Supreme Court on April 28 of this year.

The first accused in the Stanley Cup riot to be tried in B.C. Supreme Court was found guilty Thursday of three riot-related charges.

Dustin Wade Jewell Anderson, who checked himself into a Maple Ridge treatment program earlier this month and was not in court for the verdict, was convicted of participating in a riot, assaulting a firefighter and assaulting a police officer.

Videos played in court by the Crown showed Anderson to be an instigator in the June 2011 riot, confronting police, throwing objects and spitting at officers.

He admitted that he was the one captured on video, but his lawyer argued that he didn’t intend to participate in the riot.

Those arguments were rejected by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nathan Smith, who said Anderson’s participation began before he was struck by a police baton and pepper-sprayed when he confronted police and refused to leave the scene.

Smith said Anderson was not merely a passive observer and placed himself at the front of the crowd, displaying a clearly confrontational attitude and demeanour.

“I agree with the Crown that the evidence shows that Mr. Anderson obstructed the police and contributed to the general disorder, by repeatedly approaching police, throwing objects towards them, spitting and yelling at them, failing to abide by police dispersal tactics,” said the judge.

“He could not possibly have been unaware that what was going on around him was a riot.”

In the videos, Anderson can be seen approaching firefighters and demanding to get medical treatment after being pepper-sprayed.

Court heard that firefighters declined to provide aid, saying his case was not serious and they had more pressing matters to deal with.

As firefighter Dale Maffei took him by the arm and attempted to escort him away, Anderson punched him in the head.

Anderson’s lawyer argued that his client was acting in self-defence, but the judge said Anderson could not possibly have considered himself to be in any physical danger and could easily have walked away.

“The evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Anderson’s punch to Mr. Maffei’s head was not an act in self-defence, but was an escalation of the aggression and anger he had previously displayed towards Mr. Maffei and his colleagues,” said the judge.

Smith also concluded that in swinging a bag and striking Vancouver police Const. Darin McDougall, Anderson was clearly guilty of assaulting a police officer.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared for Anderson. No date has been set for the sentencing, but it is expected that the sentencing hearing will be held in mid to late November.

All prior riot prosecutions have been dealt with in provincial court. Anderson is the first accused to have elected to be tried in B.C. Supreme Court.

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