*Warning: This video contains foul language.
A man who was charged with assault after a physical confrontation between him and Canadian Tire employees is raising money for legal fees to pay for upcoming court appearances.
Confirmed by court records, Christopher Ivany was charged with two counts of assault, one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and one count of contravening public health orders. The alleged assault took place at Market Crossing Canadian Tire on Feb. 22 when Ivany allegedly refused to put on a face mask and store employees attempted to escort him out of the building.
A video of the confrontation shows what looks like store employees surrounding Ivany.
“My human rights are trumping your f***ing mask mandates,” Ivany shouted. Toward the end of the video he is placed in a chokehold.
At one point Ivany yells, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”
According to Ivany’s GoFundMe page, which is aiming to raise $20,000, the confrontation led to him losing his job.
“I am crowd funding to help pay lawyer fees so I can beat this case and counter with a lawsuit against those employees who were involved and the fake news media which has slandered me and committed libel against me,” Ivany writes.
On March 16, the date of Ivany’s first appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court, he posted an update to the campaign, which has raised $9,489 as of this writing.
“After the judge throws it out of court I will seek an attorney to press my civil suit against Canadian Tirenny [sic] and the staff that punched, choked and detained me,” Ivany writes.
When asked if assault charges could be laid against the store employees last month, Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it’s up for the investigation to decide.
“It all depends on where it leads. We’re not saying no. We’ll see where the investigation leads us. I imagine there’s more CCTV, there’s more cameras in the store,” he said. “We’re going to fully investigate this, and that means all angles.”
Christopher Ivany is expected to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court again on March 30.
- With files from Cornelia Naylor, Burnaby NOW