Toronto lawyer accused in St. Thomas bat attack apologizes, released on bail
Mark Phillips comes from a prominent Toronto family and was bailed out by his parents
Mark Phillips, the Toronto personal injury lawyer accused of attacking a Colombian family in a parking lot in St. Thomas, Ont., apologized through his lawyer in court Monday.
Phillips, who was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs, wearing a black hoodie and jeans, was deemed fit to stand trial.
He was released on $5,000 bail with his parents acting as sureties.
Phillips has been in jail since early December, when a Colombian family was attacked by a man wielding a baseball bat, yelling at them about ISIS and terrorists. The entire ordeal was caught on video and widely shared on social media.
The court imposed a number of conditions on Phillips's release. He has been ordered not to contact the complainants in the case and not to return to Elgin County unless it is to attend court.
Phillips also had to surrender his passport to justice officials as one of the conditions of his bail and he is not allowed to possess any weapons.
He is represented by high profile Toronto lawyer Steve Skurka.
The proceedings in court are covered by a publication ban, but Skurka made some comments that are not covered by the ban.
"My client wishes to apologize to Mr. Estepa and his family," Skurka said. "These are good people and members of this community. My client wishes Mr. Estepa a speedy recovery."
Phillips is charged with three counts of assault with a weapon and one count of aggravated assault.
His next court appearance is Jan 23.
Contacted by CBC News, the family attacked in the St. Thomas parking lot chose not to comment on Monday's court proceedings.
Mari Zambrano, Estepa's wife who was also in the parking lot when the incident occurred, said the family has been overwhelmed by well-wishes and donations.
The family has said they don't think the incident is reflective of St. Thomas or of Canada.