It may seem ridiculous to many people in Toronto, especially those who own shops, restaurants or small businesses, but a Toronto judge has found a restauranteur guilty of trying to stand up against someone he thought was a thief. The restaurant owner has been convicted of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, both of which are serious crimes. Even if he doesn't receive a particularly long or harsh sentence, he will still have a criminal record that marks him as someone who has committed assault.
The incident happened in August 2011 after the restaurant owner had suffered a series of thefts. According to the owner, he was merely trying to stop the man who he believed had been stealing from him. Instead, he caught the wrong man in the alley behind the restaurant.
Armed with a broom handle and some spices, the restauranteur tried to shoo the man away, a man whom he says was trying to open the door to his van. Apparently a fight ensued in which the owner hit the man with the handle and threw spices in his face. For that, he has been convicted of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.
It is true that the man who was hit by the owner was not the thief, but the owner did not realize that at the time. All he saw was someone who he believed was trying to steal from his van. The courts, however, saw it as restauranteur going too far.
Source: CBC News, "Restaurant owner guilty of assault in 'spice man' trial," Feb. 28, 2014