Man not guilty of attempted murder in puppy dispute at Beaches Jazz Festival

It started with an argument over a puppy and ended with a man on trial for attempted murder.

Dylan Cann, then 27, held an eight-month-old black lab that he fed as he and his friends walked along Queen Street East to the Beaches Jazz Festival around 11 p.m. on July 25, 2019.

Michael Jobe, then 19, stood outside a convenience store on the corner of Hammersmith and Queen with friends.

“Both dog lovers, they briefly talked about the puppy. Then something happened, ”wrote Superior Court Judge Shaun Nakatsuru in his verdict on Wednesday.

There was a heated argument when Jobe told Cann the puppy was too young to be at the loud street music festival. Nakatsuru found out that Cann, who grew more and more angry, told Jobe, “How about I give my dog ​​and my beer to my boyfriend and we go?” Then handed the puppy to a friend and hit Jobe on the temple.

Before Cann could land a second punch, Jobe stabbed Cann with a folding knife he had with him for cutting cardboard boxes as part of his job at a nearby Starbucks, leaving Cann with two punches. life-threatening knife and stomach area, Nakatsuru found.

In a 24-page decision, Nakatsuru acquitted Jobe of attempted murder and aggravated assault, arguing that he had acted in self-defense.

He found Cann’s claim that Jobe had indiscriminately stabbed him after Cann told him to mind his own business was neither credible nor reliable. At trial, Cann’s friend contradicted his version of events, testifying that Cann yelled at him to take the dog and that Cann threw a “haymaker” punch at someone.

“Sir. Jobe was a young man who was aggressively attacked, suddenly and unexpectedly by an older, heavier man. Beyond being opinionated, persistent and perhaps rude about his concern for the welfare- being a puppy, he played a small role in instigating the incident, ”Nakatsuru wrote.

“When he was hit hard in the head, he had little time to think – seconds – as the attack continued. When he found himself crouched and in a vulnerable position , he resorted to a folding knife which he used for the job. He swung once, or twice at most. The injuries he caused were not minor but they were not serious. He immediately gave up and ran away.

Nakatsuru said it was difficult to envision the immediate use of a knife to stab someone as a proportionate response – one of the factors to consider in assessing a self-defense request – but found in this case that if Jobe was reckless and hurt Cann in a particularly vulnerable situation. part of his body, he had no intention of killing it or seriously injuring the other man.

In a self-defense case, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the answer to at least one of the following questions is no, Nakatsuru wrote:

1. Did the accused believe, on reasonable grounds, that force was being used or threatened against him?

2. Did the accused act for the purpose of self-defense?

3. Were the Accused’s Actions Reasonable in the Circumstances?

In that case, the Crown admitted that Jobe reasonably believed that force was being used against him, but argued that Jobe was a willing participant in the fight and used the knife to win. Nakatsuru, however, thought Jobe was scared, and as he told the police, he just wanted Cann to “step back and not attack me again.” He also believed Jobe’s testimony that even though they were arguing, the punch was unexpected, as Cann was holding a puppy and “didn’t look like that type of person.”

In response to the last question, Nakatsuru concluded that it was reasonable for Jobe to view Cann as a significant threat and the first punch as “maybe the start of a sustained beating”.

He noted that Jobe did not carry the small knife, with a 3.5 inch blade, as a weapon but had it on his belt because he had not had the chance to change after work. Jobe also claimed that he had only stabbed Cann once before escaping, and Nakatsuru discovered that it was possible that the single stabbing caused both stab wounds.

“What really happened here is that Mr. Cann was the perpetrator of his own misfortune by initiating physical violence for no good reason,” Nakatsuru wrote.

While Jobe had alternatives, “it was reasonable to respond physically in self-defense under these circumstances,” he said. “It has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that his actions were not justified or excusable in the eyes of the company.”

Willie J. Johnson