Chinatown grocer's trial delayed
Crown to decide if it will proceed with kidnapping charge
A Chinatown grocery store owner's trial was put over in a Toronto court Thursday until Nov. 3, when the Crown is expected to say whether kidnapping charges against him will proceed.
David Chen was arrested in May after he and other employees at the Lucky Moose grocery store caught a suspected shoplifter. They claimed he had taken a flat filled with plants from the store on Dundas Street West in the heart of Toronto's Chinatown.
Chen held and tied up the alleged thief, but when police arrived, they arrested Chen and two other store employees and charged them with kidnapping and forcible confinement.
Chen's supporters argued he was just trying to protect his business and that anytime business owners in Chinatown try to make a citizen's arrest they run into trouble with the law.
Supporters complained that the issue of shoplifting — and how stores react to it — affects all shopkeepers, not just those in Chinatown.
The victim in the kidnapping case pleaded guilty to two counts of theft in August.
Chen's lawyer, Peter Lindsay, told The Canadian Press outside court Thursday that pre-trial meetings with the Crown counsel were "not very productive."
Lindsay said Chen was simply defending his property, adding that he may launch a constitutional challenge to sections of the Criminal Code regarding citizen's arrests.
With files from The Canadian Press