Sept 28, 2007
A 15-year-old native protester was released on $5,000 bail yesterday for his role in an incident that landed a Caledonia house builder in the hospital with a fractured skull and other serious injuries.
He is charged with assault, break and enter and uttering threats.
Justice of the Peace Janice Jukes expressed concern for public safety after hearing the allegations against the teenager and two other protesters who were alleged to be involved in the attack on 52-year-old Sam Gualtieri at the Stirling Woods building site in Caledonia on Sept. 13.
Gualtieri, who was allegedly attacked with a club, suffered facial injuries, a broken scapula and two fractures to the skull.
He spent five days in hospital, including three days in intensive care at Hamilton General Hospital.
“The accused is a very young person,” Jukes noted before imposing a number of strict bail conditions on the tall lanky teenager, who had also participated in the native occupation of Douglas Creek Estates.
The teenager, who can’t be identified, had surrendered to Haldimand OPP the previous day and was wearing a dark hoodie with a picture of a Mohawk warrior emblazoned on the front as he stood quietly in the prisoner’s box during his bail hearing in Cayuga court.
During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Shane Hickingbottom provided the first detailed police version of the attack, which has been mired in controversy and conflicting stories from the start.
He said the incident started at about 4 p.m. when Gualtieri and three of his workers went to check a house he was building for his daughter and her fiancée.
He was concerned because the site had become the subject of a land claims dispute and he had seen a protester hoisting a Six Nations flag by the house earlier in the day.
Inside the partially constructed building, Hickingbottom said, Gualtieri and his workers were confronted by three young intruders who refused to leave, swore at them and challenged the builder to a fight.
During the ensuing melee, the prosecutor alleged, the 15-year-old put a headlock on one of the workers and applied so much pressure he had difficulty breathing.
He eventually let him go but later allegedly said, “I should have broken your neck while I had the chance.”
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