By Shannon Quesnel
A Penticton man remembers asking for a bandage after he was stabbed in the chest.
Clayton Bonthoux said after he was hit he turned around to face a friend. He held a hand against one of his chest wounds.
“Last words out of my mouth was all I need was a Band-Aid,” he said. Then he collapsed to his knees and blacked out.
Bonthoux said this happened immediately after he was assaulted at his home on July 27. Bonthoux was on one side of his front yard fence. Joshua Rex Mason, 31, was on the other side when he allegedly stabbed Bonthoux. Both men were in Penticton Provincial Court today although Mason was in custody where he has been since last summer. He was charged with aggravated assault in connection with the event. This was the second day of an expected four-day trial.
The stabbing came after a two-day back-and-forth argument between the two men. Bonthoux told Mason to stop trespassing at his home at 296 Power St.
Before July 26, Bonthoux said he never met Mason. It was on July 26 when one of Bonthoux's friends asked if Mason could crash on a couch on Bonthoux's front porch. He agreed but Mason never did sleep there.
Later on July 26, Mason and a woman named Crystal were at Bonthoux's home. The home's tenants were upset with Crystal and Mason and wanted them gone. Bonthoux said Mason was erratic and had removed a plastic toilet seat from its moorings, was snooping through his laundry and was hitting on women.
Bonthoux told Mason, “You don't live here. Stay out of my stuff.”
When Mason refused to leave Bonthoux hit Mason in the head, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and heaved him over his deck's balcony. The ground was six feet down but Mason struck a kitchen table left outside on the lawn. At this point Mason and Crystal left the home, he said.
The next day Bonthoux said he was told Mason forged his signature on an intent-to-rent form and submitted it to government social assistance. Bonthoux said he was told this by the welfare office.
Later that day, Mason and Crystal returned to the home. Bonthoux confronted Mason and told him to leave. When he refused Bonthoux hit him in the head, grabbed him and tossed him over the deck's balcony. Crystal was dragged out of the home by Samantha Clark.
Clark testified on Monday that on July 27 two RCMP officers on bicycles were told what happened.
Bonthoux told Crown lawyer Vern Frolick he had no knowledge of the two officers.
About 15 minutes later Mason returned. He was with Pat, a large man and a friend of Bonthoux. Pat wanted to know what the problem was between Mason and Bonthoux.
Bonthoux walked across his front lawn and stopped at the fence. Mason and Pat were on the other side.
“That's when Josh leaned over my fence and stabbed me,” Bonthoux said.
At first Bonthoux thought Mason was punching him in the chest. It was only later he realized he'd been stabbed. One wound was over his heart. Another was below the base of his neck.
Bonthoux said he saw Mason running away before he collapsed. He remembered waking up in a Kelowna hospital.
Frolick asked the victim how he was doing. Bonthoux said he doesn't notice any change in himself but his friends do. He has been told he is stressed and he said he takes an antidepressant.
Defense lawyer Michael Welsh asked Bonthoux if he owed Mason any rent money. Bonthoux said he did not. He also denied Mason stayed at his home for a week.
“He is psychotic. That's why he kept coming back,” Bonthoux said of Mason.
On Monday, Clark and another witness said Mason punched Bonthoux once.
Welsh told Bonthoux he was hit only once. Bonthoux denied it.
“Well tell that to my scars on my chest,” he said.
The trial is expected to continue this week.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.