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A pub night in Colwood, shattered by violence

Oct 13 2012

The regulars were watching Monday night football at the Country Rose pub in Colwood when their evening was shattered by violence that has left a man in hospital struggling for his life.

Rick Green, a regular at the pub for more than 20 years, sat with his friend and pub chef Denis Desjardin, who had come in on his day off to watch the game.

A man and woman were sitting up front in the pub, Desjardin recalled Friday.

From snippets of their conversation, Desjardin gathered they had dated in the past and the man was trying to persuade her to get back together.

"All of a sudden, we heard a glass break," Desjardins said.

"The woman got up and started walking toward the door. She got about halfway there and the man stood up to follow her." As the couple went out the front door, Green pulled on Desjardin's sleeve and said, "Let's go have a smoke."

Green had been watching and noticed the tension, Desjardin said. People inside the pub were looking outside, checking on the situation and getting worried.

Green and Desjardin walked out the front door and saw the woman trying to walk away. "And Rick said to the guy, 'Hey, why don't you get in your vehicle right now and leave,' " Desjardin said.

The man replied that he wasn't doing anything and just wanted to talk to the woman.

"Rick said again, 'Get in your vehicle and leave now.' Then he said to the woman, 'Come here. We're going back inside.' "

The woman walked toward Green, who told the man to get in his car or he would call the police.

The much-bigger man started walking toward Green. He had his hands open and told Green, "This has nothing to do with you," Desjardin said.

"He literally got in Rick's face, nose-to-nose. He said, 'Stay out of this,' " Desjardin remembered.

Then a blow came out of nowhere, Desjardin said. Green's head jerked.

He was out cold on his feet.

"Then he fell back. It was like watching a tree fall," Desjardin said. "As soon as Rick hit the ground, I guess the man realized what he did and he dropped down and grabbed Rick by the jacket and started apologizing.

"I'm so sorry, sir. Sir, please be OK," Desjardin recalled him saying.

Someone said to call an ambulance, but the man who struck Green said, "No, don't call 911. Please don't," Desjardin said.

Then the man left.

Desjardin supported Green's neck while waiting for the ambulance. When it arrived, Green started to regain consciousness. He got to his feet and insisted he was OK, but his friends talked him into getting on the stretcher.

Desjardin called Green's son, Kevin, and told him his father was in hospital.

At 12: 30 a.m. Tuesday, Kevin phoned Desjardin to report that blood was pooling in his father's brain and he was being rushed to the operating room.

On Friday night, West Shore RCMP Sgt. Max Fossum said Green was still in a medically induced coma. ldickson@timescolonist.com

> Injured man works at B.C. Vital Statistics, A4

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