April 09, 2013 - 10:40 AM
A Vernon man has been found guilty of breaking into someone's house with unlawful intentions, but he says he was just looking for help after suffering a seizure.
Following a day's trial, Judge Mark Takahashi found Dwayne Olsen guilty of breaking into a house on 27 Avenue, and threating one of the residents and the cop who arrested him.
Olsen's account of what happened the night of Nov. 1, 2012 was at odds with the evidence given by the couple living there.
They said they noticed a man on their property through a back window some time after 6:30 p.m. In court, they identified the man as Olsen. At the time, they had no idea who he was.
They spoke with Olsen, who threatened to kill the man if he didn't let him inside. Olsen smashed a window with a metal bar, and fearing for their safety, they called 911, fled the building, and waited for the police on the street.
Police found Olsen inside the building around 7 p.m.
"He was in (a) corner, yelling obscenities... there was blood and glass on the floor," Const. Cody King said on the witness stand.
Olsen told King if he came near him, he would kill him.
King said Olsen seemed confused and agitated. "It was almost like he wasn't cognitive. He was yelling, swearing, he didn't seem to know where he was."
During the ride to the station, Olsen continued to scream curse words at King and began banging his head against the window, causing lacerations. In a taped recording of the arrest, King said he doesn't know what the issue is with Olsen's behaviour, and asks if he suffers from mental health issues. Olsen replies, "I don't think there's any mental health... why don't you look into it?"
Olsen, who has been in custody since the incident, glared at King in court. "I've got a broken arm, that's what the issue is," Olsen said, speaking out of turn and earning a warning from the courtroom sheriff.
That was only the beginning of Olsen's side of things. During his testimony, he let loose a flood of explanations and even some accusations about the incident.
"My story's never going to change, because it's true," he said under cross-examination with Crown lawyer Cristina Cabulea.
According to Olsen, he just suffering a seizure and needed to use someone's phone. He knocked on a 27 Avenue door to ask for help.
"I really wish I didn't go into that house and had taken my chances stumbling around in the dark," Olsen said, later adding he lived at Vernon's Howard House.
At first, everything was fine, according to Olsen. The residents welcomed him in to use the phone, but then something changed. A man was pushing him out the door and slamming it in his face.
A few minutes later, his "spider sense" told him the residents had left the building, so he decided it was safe for him to enter.
Cabulea said Olsen's testimony was completely unreliable because of things like Olsen's spider sense, which he said has been reliable over the years.
Olsen's defense lawyer Brian Loewen kept his submission brief, saying the Crown had not proved any of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. He did not note mental illness as a mitigating factor, and denied a question about his client's condition by InfoTel News outside of court.
Takahashi said much of Olsen's testimony made no sense, and sided with the residents.
Olsen awaits sentencing on the three guilty charges. Cabulea noted Olsen's criminal record was coloured with repeated run-ins with the law, including an 18 month sentence for aggravated assault in 2011. Given his record, Cabulea is recommending two years in prison.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)309-5230.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013