A Burnaby teen has been handed a two-year suspended sentence after bear-spraying another teen in the face, hitting him in the head with a skateboard and then taking off on his electric scooter last May.
Braeden Valere Ersu Ramadan, 19, was in Vancouver provincial court Tuesday and pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a weapon.
He had originally been charged with robbery, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of stolen property, but those charges were stayed.
The charges relate to incidents in the early morning hours of May 17, 2022, according to agreed facts presented in court.
Police were called to Capitol Hill Elementary School at about 2:30 a.m. for reports of a robbery in progress.
The victim, 18-year-old Isaiah Campbell, reported he had been bear-sprayed in the face and hit in the head with a skateboard by Ramadan, who had then taken off on Campbell's electric scooter.
Ramadan said he sprayed Campbell because he thought he'd heard the click of a bear-spray canister, according to Crown prosecutor Louise Gauld, but there was no evidence Campbell had had bear spray with him.
"As a pre-emptive move, he used his canister and sprayed Mr. Campbell," Gauld said.
Campbell then put Ramadan into a choke hold until Ramadan said, “I’m done; I give up,” according to Gauld.
“Campbell believed that Ramadan had given up, so he let go of the choke hold and walked away,” she said. “Ramadan picked up the skateboard and hit Campbell in the back of the head.”
Ramadan then took off on Campbell’s electric scooter, according to the agreed facts.
The skateboard assault caused a grade-three concussion and opened a gash on Campbell’s head that took five staples to close, according to Gauld.
She said it took Campbell four-and-a-half months to heal and he now has a "big scar."
In a joint sentencing submission, Gauld and defence lawyer Ian Gauthier called for a two-year suspended sentence, with orders to complete 20 hours of community work service and write an apology letter to Campbell.
Gauthier said his client has made “significant lifestyle changes,” including getting counselling, since the assault.
He cited a psychological report that found Ramadan is “not generally a violent person.”
Ramadan had “found himself with a bad crowd” as a result of an “unstable upbringing and the part of town he lived in,” according to Gauthier.
He noted Ramadan and Campbell had been friends, but “the relationship had soured.”
Ramadan has moved out of the neighbourhood with his girlfriend since the assault, according to Gauthier.
“This was seen as a wake-up call for him. He’s not a kid anymore,” Gauthier said.
Judge Gregory Rideout said it was his practice to accept “true joint submissions,” and he imposed the two-year suspended sentence, including orders to get counselling, complete 20 hours of community work service and write Campbell an apology letter.
Under his probation order, Ramadan is banned from contacting Campbell, going to Capitol Hill Elementary School, and possessing any weapons.
He will also have to submit a DNA sample.