British Columbia

Man pleads guilty to shoving 92-year-old to the ground at Vancouver 7-Eleven store

A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a senior at a 7-Eleven store in Vancouver, more than two years after the incident occurred.

Jamie Bezanson, 52, seen on video shoving senior, receives conditional discharge and year-long probation

Fifty-two-year-old Jamie Bezanson was handed a conditional discharge and a year's probation after he pleaded guilty to assaulting senior Kaihong Kwong in March 2020. (Vancouver Police Department)

A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a senior at a 7-Eleven store in Vancouver, more than two years after the incident occurred.

Jamie Bezanson, 52, was given a conditional discharge and a year's probation on Monday in B.C. Provincial Court and was ordered to pay $100 to the victim, Kaihong Kwong.

Judge Donna Senniw also ordered Bezanson to not contact Kwong and two others involved in the incident and to not visit the East Vancouver store where the incident occurred on March 13, 2020.

Bezanson was seen on video appearing to shout at Kwong, who was 92 years old at the time and has dementia. He was then shoved from behind at the entrance to the store, which caused him to fall to the ground outside and hit his head.

WATCH | Surveillance video of the March 2020 incident:

Police release surveillance video of alleged racially motivated attack

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Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspect. They say he began yelling at a 92-year-old man with dementia, making comments about COVID-19, then shoved him, causing him to fall and hit his head outside a convenience store in East Vancouver on March 13.

Police say Bezanson fled the store shortly after. He was charged in July 2020 after being identified by members of the public.

A spokesperson for the B.C. Prosecution Service says there was "no reliable evidence" that the assault was motivated by hate, despite police saying at the time that Bezanson had yelled racist comments about COVID-19.

As part of his release conditions, he must complete 20 hours of community service within the first nine months of his probation order.

Kwong is the patriarch of a large family, with five children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

His family said he recovered well after the incident in the early months of the pandemic, and they were grateful to those who helped to identify his attacker so quickly.

With files from Lien Yeung

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