An Alberton man has pleaded guilty to a charge related to a fight outside the Miscouche Legion, which nearly proved fatal for his opponent.
Brandon Allan Vance Butler, 23, was charged shortly after the incident, which happened on the night of Oct. 3, 2017.
Though he was originally charged with aggravated assault and breaching probation, he ended up pleading guilty to a single, lesser charge of unlawfully causing bodily harm.
Butler was sentenced to serve four months in jail, but received credit for time served since his initial arrest, which equaled three months. In addition to his remaining jail time, he must pay a $200 victim surcharge, submit a DNA sample to the national criminal database and is prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years. He must also write a letter of apology to the second man involved in the fight and must complete 20 hours of community service.
As he handed down his decision, Judge Jeff Lantz, reiterated a comment he’s made many times before.
“This highlights what I say in here just about every week … you never know what one punch might do. It could change a person’s life drastically.”
There was a joint statement of facts between the Crown and Butler’s defence lawyer submitted to the court in this case.
People interviewed by police later, reported seeing both men consuming varying amounts of alcohol earlier in the night.
According to joint statement of facts, Butler was a passenger in a car travelling on Route 2 towards Summerside on the night in question.
At a certain point, Butler’s vehicle passed a Honda Civic, which witnesses said was driving erratically. The Civic sped up and tailgated Butler’s vehicle to the point where the woman driving pulled into the Miscouche Legion parking lot to escape. The Civic also pulled into the lot and parked facing the other vehicle.
A security video from the Legion showed Butler and the driver of the Civic, then-26-year-old Stefan Pineau, confront one another and exchange words. This went on for about three minutes before the men separated and walked back to their cars.
About 20 seconds later Pineau walk over to Butler and the two men “squared off and fought.”
The camera caught the start of the fight but cut out for about two minutes, resuming to show Pineau on the ground.
Witnesses said that the fight lasted only a few blows and that Pineau hit the back of his head on the ground after going down from a punch.
Butler and his female companion left the scene while others contacted members of Pineau’s family. Island EMS was called and Pineau was taken to Prince County Hospital, then transferred to Moncton for treatment of severe brain injuries.
Pineau’s family published photos of him in hospital on social media shortly thereafter, asking for anyone with information to contact RCMP, which was investigating.
There was an outpouring of support for Pineau and his family. A friend started a gofundme crowdsourcing campaign to help cover their costs and ended up raising more than $17,000. There were other fundraisers as well.
Pineau spent months in hospital. He still suffers ill health from his injuries and he still recovering. He has told police he has no memory of the incident.