NORTH BATTLEFORD – A man accused of assaulting a First Nation man in what FSIN has called a brutal and unprovoked attack had his matter before the court for the first time on Monday.
Defence Randy Kirkham waived 46-year-old Adam Lesmeister’s appearance in North Battleford court and asked for an adjournment as he waits for disclosure. Disclosure consists of the Crown’s case against the accused and usually includes search warrants, the charging document, details of the offence, audio/video and transcribed witness statements, statements from the accused, expert reports, exhibits, private communication intercept authorizations, evidence, and criminal records of witnesses and the accused.
Prosecutor Steven Laroque told the court that the Crown is proceeding summarily, which is the less serious charge.
Judge William Mokuruk adjourned the matter to Sept. 19.
Lesmeister was charged with assault after a video was posted online that allegedly showed an Indigenous man being attacked in Battleford. According to Battlefords RCMP, they got a call about an assault around 6:50 p.m. on June 17 in the 0-100 block of 17 Street East in Battleford. Police say a man was approached by three males he didn’t know and one of the men assaulted him. All three had left the area before officers arrived and the victim, who is from Poundmaker First Nation, was given medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.
The video online sparked outrage across the province.
In a statement issued by FSIN, lawyer Eleanore Sunchild said the attack was racist and seemingly an act of vigilante justice, which resulted in her friend being brutally assaulted. The alleged assault occurred in her yard in Battleford and she captured the attack on video and posted it on social media.
“Racism kills and it has to stop,” said Sunchild.
FSIN says the victim was unhooking a trailer while his six-year-old daughter sat in the vehicle at a home in Battleford when the three non-First Nations men approached him on the property.
“The attacker struck him and then proceeded to pull him to the ground by his braid and further [assaulted] the man with a knee to the face. The entire group then left.”
The charges against Lesmeister haven't been tested in court.
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