EDMONTON — A 19-year-old Edmonton man was convicted Friday of aggravated assault for his part in the vicious swarming of a city soccer dad following a rowdy game last year.
Manpreet Grewal was found guilty of being one of several players who chased Dean Smith, 44, after a heated verbal confrontation at the end of a June 5, 2008, match and then punched and kicked him when he tripped and fell down.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Brian Burrows rejected a statement to police by Grewal in which he denied kicking Smith and accepted evidence implicating him in the group attack from a coach and referee at the game.
Burrows said the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Grewal was the player involved.
A pre-sentence report was ordered and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for Feb. 26.
Outside court, Smith spoke of the conviction and said he is still recovering from severe facial injuries.
“I’m happy that there was some justice done in this case and I hope this sends a message to the young kids and young adults out there,” said Smith.
“These swarmings have happened before and people got away with it.”
Smith testified he got into a shouting match with several players on the under-18 squad and admitted he got frustrated and angry after being insulted.
Smith, whose son was playing on the opposing team, said he told Grewal he would rip his “do-rag” off and do something offensive with it if the young man didn’t shut up.
Under cross-examination, Smith conceded he “possibly” knew that Grewal’s patka — a type of smaller turban used by Sikhs in sporting events — was a religious headdress but maintained his comments were not racially motivated.
Outside court on Friday, Smith said he would not change anything he did or said that day.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
Four youths were also charged in the swarming attack, however their charges were later withdrawn.