British Columbia

Dad accused of punching mom during kids' soccer game avoids trial

From the soccer pitch to the courtroom, two parents were set to square off against each other Monday morning in North Vancouver Provincial Court, but a last minute time out between the Crown and defence saw it called down.

Jan Nizaar Ali won't have a criminal record after Crown and defence negotiate an agreement with judge

A Surrey soccer dad has avoided a criminal record after admitting to scaring children at his son's soccer game. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

From the soccer pitch to the courtroom, two parents were set to square off against each other Monday morning in North Vancouver Provincial Court, but a last minute time out between the Crown and defence saw it called down.

On March 16, 2019, 42-year-old Jan Nizaar Ali of Surrey was arrested and charged with assault after allegedly punching 45-year old Stephanie Griffith of North Vancouver in the face. 

But after some back and forth in the hallways of the North Vancouver courthouse Monday, the two sides came to a compromise of sorts. 

Ali has entered into a peace bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three months and the original assault charge was withdrawn. 

Ali and Griffith were at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver watching their sons play soccer last March.

Griffith's son plays for the West Vancouver FCs while Ali's son plays for Surrey's B.C. Tigers.

According to West Vancouver police, the spat erupted after a parent picked up a game ball that had rolled out of bounds. A player on the opposing team alleged the parent was holding on to the ball to run out the game clock, police said.

At the time of the spat, the game had two minutes left and the Surrey Tigers were winning the match 2-0.

As tensions escalated, Griffith was punched in the jaw. She also alleges Ali began swearing at her 16-year-old daughter, as she rushed to her mother's defence.

When police arrived at the park, they found a group of parents blocking Ali's vehicle from leaving the sports field.

The agreement between parties means Ali, who has no previous criminal record, won't be left with one, however, B.C. Soccer is conducting its own investigation.

Its disciplinary committee will be tasked with determining whether he should be banned from local soccer fields for life.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Jan Nizzar Ali entered into an agreement to not contact Stephanie Griffith for three months. In fact, he has entered into a peace bond for three months that does not involve a no contact order.
    Jan 07, 2020 3:39 PM PT

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