MONTREAL â€” A man convicted of leaving the scene in the 1989 hit-and-run death of Canadian swimming champion Victor Davis was granted bail Wednesday on a manslaughter charge in a separate case.
Glen Crossley, 46, is charged in the death last September of Albert Arsenault, who, according to his family, fell down a set of stairs in a Montreal bar after being pushed.
Arsenault, 70, suffered a head fracture and heart failure.
Crossley had to post $10,000 bail and must abide by several conditions, including respecting a curfew, refraining from consuming drugs or alcohol and not frequenting bars or restaurants except to eat.
He is also prohibited from contacting some 10 people who may be called as witnesses if the case goes to trial.
Proceedings resume March 30.
Montreal police said in a statement Tuesday an autopsy and other information led investigators to determine the death was not accidental but an alleged criminal act.
Crossley’s lawyer, Gilbert Frigon, said his client’s prior conviction was not a reason to keep him behind bars because the Davis incident occurred more than 20 years ago and was not considered a violent crime.
“He did his time back then and you have to remember (the conviction) was leaving the scene causing a death,” Frigon said outside the courtroom. “It wasn’t anything like manslaughter or a crime of violence.”
Crown prosecutor Alexandre Arel said prior criminal history can be a factor when deciding whether to grant bail, but that Crossley was not deemed to be a risk to public safety with the conditions in place.
Crossley was given a 10-month sentence in 1992 for leaving the scene in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que., where Davis, a quadruple Olympic medallist, was struck by a car driven by the then 19-year-old Crossley.
Crossley testified at his trial he did not stop because Davis had thrown a juice bottle at the windshield and that he thought the swimmer had leapt out of the car’s path.
He was released after serving four months in jail.
Davis, a native of Guelph, Ont., who was a gold and silver medallist the the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, was in hospital for two days before dying of brain damage in November 1989.
Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press