February 27, 2014 - 2:21 PM
STABBING ACCUSED CARRIED KNIFE FOR 'SELF-PROTECTION'
PENTICTON -- The man charged with assault with a weapon admitted to a jury today to stabbing his opponent during a bar fight two years ago, but said he pulled the knife in self defence.
Joshua Pio, 24, has been on trial in Penticton Supreme Court all week, facing charges from an incident on New Years’ Eve 2012, when he stabbed longtime acquaintance Dwayne Gabriel, 26, at the Barking Parrott.
Much of Pio’s testimony matched that of witnesses who took the stand earlier in the week, but differed on key points.
Answering questions from his lawyer, Ian McAndrews, Pio said Gabriel beat him up at least three times during high school, including just four to six months before the stabbing when he said Gabriel and several other men jumped him at Peach Fest. After that attack, Pio said he began carrying around a knife for protection. He said a police officer suggested he could use a weapon for self defense if he was assaulted again.
Pio admitted to stabbing Gabriel in the arm and back, as Gabriel earlier described. But Pio said he pulled the knife for self-defense, not because he wanted to fight.
“I’m not a fighter,” he said. He was scared of Gabriel and didn't initiate a conversation that night and had no idea a fight was going to break out.
Gabriel earlier told the court a mutual friend told him Pio created negative posts about Gabriel. He confronted Pio at the club and he denied the allegations. Gabriel then threatened to beat up Pio in front of everyone in the bar, and Pio was certain the threat was real. Pio said he stood up and shouted “Stay... away from me.” He said Gabriel then stood up and punched Pio’s face, breaking his nose.
With one hand up, blocking punches, Pio reached into his pocket to get his knife, then stabbed Gabriel several times. “Then I ran for my life,” he said.
Police later found Pio at his father’s apartment and took him into custody.
Gabriel has a criminal record, with one offense in 2002 from a school yard fight in Lethbridge, Alberta. He was charged as a youth with aggravated assault.
The jury will return to court tomorrow when the trial resumes.
To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014