A jury trial for a Liquid Zoo bouncer who allegedly assaulted a customer got underway in B.C. Supreme Court this week.
Jonathan Bruce is being tried in Kelowna for aggravated assault relating to an incident alleged to have happened Nov. 22, 2015. A jury heard Thursday that Rhett Miller was hit by Bruce and sustained a head trauma that has lingering effects to this day.
According to a friend who had been with him on the night of the incident, the life changing blow seemed to arrive out of the blue.
Miller, the witness and others had been out for dinner and a Rockets game before going to the Liquid Zoo.
While there, they spoke a few times with Bruce as they had some common ties, such as being from the same “small town.”
Bruce even bought a round of shots for the group.
“What I remember was we were all talking, there was no hassle and no problems with anything — it was pretty mellow,” said the witness.
He said that he remembers Bruce leaving out the back door, but didn’t get the impression anything was wrong.
“There were no warning signs there would be trouble.”
Then Bruce went back in the bar and told the witness to go outside because Miller was “lying in the alley.”
“He said ‘(Miller) hassled my staff, made a move against home and I hit him with an open hand,” said the witness, adding later that Miller fell in a strange way.
He told jurors he asked Bruce why he didn’t just ask them to leave, but he doesn’t recall the answer.
He kneeled next to his friend, realized that he had yet to rise and tried to call 911.
“It’s not good, he’s not waking up,” he remembered saying.
CCTV video shows the movements of the men in the aftermath of the incident.
The jury trial is expected to conclude this week.
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