While praising a Good Samaritan who stopped to intervene in what she believed was a roadside spousal assault, a provincial court judge said he cannot convict the man accused of assaulting her with a weapon.
Provincial court Judge Roy Dickey said in his ruling Monday it was "likely" that Isaac Parker threatened 23-year-old Kristy Waters when he struck the hood of her car, reportedly saying, "How would you like this?"
"But I'm not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt," Dickey said.
In his ruling, however, Dickey added that something Parker shouted at Waters during the encounter - the dispute was "none of her business" - is wrong.
Dickey said Parker's statement "couldn't be further from the truth.
"Spousal and partner abuse is all of our business," Dickey said, praising Waters's action as noble and compassionate.
Waters was a Starbucks employee in March 17 last year preparing to enter the Calgary police force when she stopped her car near midnight on Westsyde Road to assist a hysterical young woman fighting with her boyfriend.
Waters testified she pulled over and stopped, putting her hazard lights on when she saw a woman in distress.
That woman was Parker's 18-year-old girlfriend.
Waters did not know the couple.
After pulling over, Waters said she tried to get the woman into her car and out of harm's way, including physically holding her.
Parker walked up the road briefly, Waters testified during the trial, returning and clutching a broom handle. He admitted striking the hood of Waters's car, saying he believed she was trying to abduct his girlfriend.
The couple walked away, where they were met by an RCMP squad car up the road. Waters also met the RCMP car and reported the incident.
Defence lawyer Chris Thompson said Waters was acting on "mistaken belief" that an assault occurred, arguing his client was acting in self-defence.
While Judge Dickey said he didn't believe Parker's evidence, he added there was a major inconsistency in Waters's testimony - whether Parker's girlfriend ended up on the ground during the encounter.
Due to that inconsistency, Dickey said he could not be certain the threat occurred as Waters described.
Parker earlier pleaded guilty to two breaches of an undertaking and mischief from the incident where he smashed the hood of Waters' car with a broom handle. He will be sentenced later on those charges.
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