AN assault charge has been dropped against a B.C. Crown prosecutor who got into a shoving match with an elderly man in a North Vancouver McDonald's.
Hedley Christopher Johns, 60, who works for the criminal justice branch, was charged last year, after a chippy exchange with Brad Draganic - a man in his 80s - in the North Vancouver fast food restaurant.
The incident, which happened in August 2011, was apparently triggered when Johns barged through the door of the restaurant as Draganic was walking out. Draganic said something to Johns, "who then turned around and walked towards him and knocked his hat off," said Kris Pechet, a special prosecutor assigned to the case.
"There was some pushing and shoving that followed that. No blows were struck."
Pechet added it's not necessary to actually hit someone to be charged with assault. "Just the simple knocking off of the hat, fell under the definition of assault itself."
Pechet said Johns was shocked and horrified when he later found out how old Draganic was. "He was very embarrassed."
The charge was dropped after Johns went through an alternative measures program that included an anger management course, an apology letter and 10 hours of community service work.
Pechet said there appeared to be no particular issue that sparked the incident."It could have been a bad day. Who knows?" he said.
Pechet said Johns also faced discipline at his job after he was charged. - Jane Seyd
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