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‘I will arrest you’: Kelowna protestor charged with assault told not to enter Interior Health

On March 2, the court heard that David Lindsay was told not to enter the Interior Health building
David Lindsay (right) and two of his supporters outside the Kelowna Courthouse on March. 1. (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

UPDATE: 5:30p.m.

The patrons who filled Kelowna’s court room 9 for the assault case of a prominent ‘freedom fighter,’ saw a few heated exchanges between periods of inaction on the second day of the trial.

The accused, David Lindsay, is representing himself while on trial for two counts of assault. While cross examining Crown’s two witnesses, Lindsay took long pauses between questions to carefully choose his words.

Crown prosecutor David Grabavac was often quick to object to the questions when necessary, at one point saying “motive is an issue with respect to the accused, not the witnesses. That’s a concept that is taught in the first month of law school,” when Lindsay asked Paladin security guard Taj Smith if there was corroboration to use force against him.

The accused wanted to know if there was “an intention from the security officials to use force against me.”

The court was shown two videos showing different perspectives of the incident outside the Interior Health building at 505 Doyle Avenue, on Aug. 19, 2021.

In the video a security guard is heard saying “you can do your demonstration out on the street,” to which Lindsay responded “I disagree, I have a right of access.”

Smith said that Lindsay was banned from the Interior Health building the week prior and had been notified of the decision.

The video then shows Lindsay moving towards and then bumping into the security guards, who were stationed in front of the doors to the building. The three security guards standing shoulder to shoulder were also seen moving and it is not clear if they moved forward or not when attempting to get closer together as Lindsay moved towards them.

Lindsay suggested to Smith that the security guards moved into him, not the other way around.

Smith disagreed and said,”we got closer together to prevent unauthorized entry.”

“Would you like to stand down for a set of glasses?” Asked Lindsay after Smith disagreed with him.

The statement drew an objection from Crown and a murmur from the crowd of Lindsay’s supporters.

Jason Davis, the Branch Manager for Paladin Security, was the next witness called to the stand by Crown.

Davis said that he was asked to attend the protest at the Interior Health building to “make sure that things didn’t get out of hand.”

Davis said that he spoke to Lindsay and told him that he was not welcome in the building after issues that had occurred the week before.

“He said that he was going in regardless and that he would push his way in.”

Davis also clarified that the Interior Health building on Doyle Ave. is not public property. He explained that it is private property that is open to the public and that people can have their right to entry taken away.

The trial was not completed by the end of the day and requires three more days, which will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Original: 12:45p.m.

A prominent leader in Kelowna’s ‘freedom fighter’ community has begun cross examination of an officer who was present on the scene of an alleged assault, on the second day of a drawn-out trial.

David Lindsay is representing himself in the trial for two counts of assault stemming from an incident that occurred in 2021 at an Interior Health Building downtown Kelowna.

Court was delayed on day one of the trial on March 1 after Lindsay and his supporters refused a bag search.

READ MORE: ‘Talk to the hand’: Kelowna protest leader refuses to participate in assault trial

Officer David Fortier was the first witness called to the stand in the trial.

His testimony is under a voir dire and parts of it may not be entered into evidence.

Fortier said that Lindsay was “not violent but confrontational,” when speaking with him prior to the alleged assault on Aug. 19, 2021.

READ MORE: Petition looks to change face of protests in Kelowna after ongoing ‘nuisance’

Fortier was parked in front of the Interior Health Building at 505 Doyle Avenue, waiting for his colleague, when he noticed a protest going on in front of the building.

He claims that he was approached by Lindsay, who asked “are you here for me?”

Fortier said that Lindsay then asked him what would happen if he entered the Interior Health building.

Fortier replied, “I will arrest you.”

The second witness, Taj Smith, a Paladin security guard was then called to the stand by the Crown prosecutor.

On the day of the alleged assault, Smith was working at Interior Health and was tasked with standing in front of the door to prevent people from entering the building.

Smith said that the nature of the protest was “ambiguous” and related to COVID-19, mask mandates and vaccines.

He said there was a protest a few weeks prior where protestors entered and disturbed the employees and patrons of Interior Health.

After the incident, Smith said that some people were contacted by Interior Health and were told that they were no longer allowed inside.

“Mr. Lindsay was one of the people not welcome inside the building.”

Smith said that on the day of the incident, Lindsay was spoken to by another Paladin security guard and was told that that he was not allowed inside the building.

He said that he overheard Lindsay telling another security guard that he would be entering the building.

Smith said that he also heard Fortier telling Lindsay that he would be arrested if he entered the building.

Smith was still standing at the doors of the building when Lindsay and a group of protestors approached the entrance.

He testified that Lindsay walked up towards two other guards and tried to push past them.

“I do recall him pushing his body against Mr. Davis and Mr. Smith’s (another guard) body,” said Smith.

The trial continues later this afternoon.


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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