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Man acquitted of assault in late-night restaurant brawl

Jul 10 2012

A Victoria man has been acquitted of assaulting two strangers at a packed Denny's restaurant.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gaul said Friday he could not find with any certainty that Eldriegson Lopez Delalcazar physically assaulted Paul Dixon and his friend Sukhpaul Parmar in the early hours of Oct. 17, 2010.

"I have no doubt that these two men were assaulted. Nor do I have any doubt that the accused was present at the scene where the assault occurred," Gaul said. "However, the scene was chaotic, with many people coming and going. And none of the eyewitnesses who testified at trial could identify the assailants even after viewing the surveillance videos."

Court heard that Dixon and Parmar were visiting Victoria with friends. They went drinking at a number of nightclubs.

They ended up at Denny's with two women they had met at one of the clubs. One of those women was Magdalayna Moraitis, the ex-girlfriend of Delalcazar's brother, Jefferson Delalcazar.

Dixon testified that he was sitting in a booth at the back of the restaurant when he caught a glimpse of four men walking in. Suddenly, he was punched in the face, pulled from the booth and pushed to the ground. He testified that when he was on the ground, he covered his head and did not see the people who were kicking and punching him.

Parmar testified that he also caught a quick glance of four men entering the restaurant. Within seconds, he was struck on the head by an unknown assailant. He covered his head with his arms and placed his head on the table. Parmar was stuck between 10 to 20 times. Parmar testified that he could not identify the person or persons who assaulted him.

Other Crown witnesses could not identify or remember anything about the men involved in the assault, Gaul noted.

"The scene was stressful and alcohol was involved," he said. "It's no surprise to me none of the eye witnesses can say with any certainty who or how many people were involved in assaulting Mr. Dixon."

There was no evidence Delalcazar knew there was going to be a fight and no evidence that he participated when one broke out, Gaul said.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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