Sucker-punch assault echoes manslaughter case: Victoria cop

Frustration among Victoria police mounts as 'senseless violence continues'

An apparent booze-fuelled fight in which a 22-year-old Sooke man allegedly “sucker-punched” a 24-year-old Saanich man in downtown Victoria sounds all too familiar to investigators.

Victoria police responded to reports that two men, who had been celebrating with a large group of West Shore hockey players following a tournament win, were fighting outside Lucky Bar at 517 Yates St., on April 3 around 3 a.m.

Police say one man was sucker-punched, fell to the ground, hit his head and was knocked unconscious. He was taken to Royal Jubilee Hospital for an assessment of possible head injuries, and released a short while later.

The incident is disturbingly reminiscent of a case last November, in which 20-year-old Tyler Noble of Shawnigan Lake was punched at the corner of Douglas and View Streets. He fell, and died from his injuries just hours later at Victoria General Hospital.

Victoria resident Brandon Huth, 24, is facing a manslaughter charge from that incident. His case goes before the courts April 17.

“It was the first thing I thought of,” said Victoria police spokesperson Const. Mike Russell when asked of the similarity between the two cases.

“There are so many stark similarities to it so soon after the tragedy of Tyler Noble’s death, and that this senseless violence continues. We’ve certainly been putting a lot of resources into being down there and being proactive, but I just don’t know what else to do to get through to people that this is unacceptable behaviour in any community.”

Following the recent fight, the suspect was chased to Centennial Square, where he was arrested. He was eventually released on a promise to appear in court in one month. Police were recommending he be charged with assault causing bodily harm.

emccracken@vicnews.com