A former member of the Kelowna Rockets has been ordered to pay more than $34,000 in damages after punching a Good Samaritan in the face and causing permanent injuries, a judge has ruled.
According to recent court documents, Ryan Olsen, 24, of Delta was at a party in Tsawwassen in July 2017 when he had started pushing a woman.
She was saying “No” and he was yelling “Yes!” the documents say, until Liam Griffin, then 19 years old, and a friend intervened and yelled at Olsen to stop.
“I am a professional hockey player,” Olsen said back. “I make more money than you ever will. Let me do my thing.”
He then punched Griffin in the left cheek and knocked him unconscious.
Griffin was taken to Delta Hospital with a concussion, a contusion and a frontal lobe injury to his right forehead, which required stitches, a cut to his left cheek, scrapes to his elbow and back, as well as wounds to his neck, back and leg.
The victim, who was a college student at the time, was later able to graduate with a business diploma, but he told the court he can no longer play contact sports, and suffers from pressure to his head and chronic pain.
Medical records show he has been told to wait to undergo plastic surgery to help with the contusion – a scar that causes him to feel self-conscious at his job at a software company, court heard.
Delta police investigated the assault, but no charges were laid. Later while living in Winnipeg, Olsen was served a notice of claim for $35,000 from Griffin.
Olsen was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2013-14 season, with an annual salary of about $700,000, after playing for the Kelowna Rockets. But because he had zero minutes of ice time, did not receive this salary. He’s played for various teams in the East Coast Hockey League, and according to his social media accounts, has been drafted to playing in a European hockey league.
The court also heard Olsen and Griffin crossed paths in downtown Vancouver a month after the notice of claim was filed, where Olsen approached him and said, “I’ll do it again. Go ahead and take my money – I have loads of it.”
Olsen did not attend the settlement conference nor the trial.
In his ruling, provincial court judge Thomas Gove called Olsen’s conduct harsh, reprehensible, vicious and high-handed.
“His statements such as ‘Let me do my thing,’ show an attitude of entitlement,” Gove wrote in his decision.
Olsen has been ordered to pay $20,000 for Griffin’s pain and suffering, $10,000 in punitive damages, and $4,230 for various medical services and loss of wages, with interest on amounts still owing after March 15.