Dangerous driving conviction for man who hit North Okanagan pedestrian with his car - InfoNews

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Dangerous driving conviction for man who hit North Okanagan pedestrian with his car

FILE PHOTO - Police cordoned off a section of 27 Avenue Feb. 10, 2016 to investigate the incident.
March 01, 2018 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - A young man accused of using his BMW to assault a woman walking along the street two years ago was found guilty of dangerous driving today, March 1, in Vernon Supreme Court.

However, Justice Brenda Brown had enough doubt about what happened to find Abd’l-Malik Loubissi-Morris not guilty of two other charges, assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

Loubissi-Morris, who was 18 years old in February 2016 when the incident occurred, was accused of intentionally hitting 23-year-old Lisa David with his car, leaving her with serious injuries. She was walking that day with her boyfriend, Thomas Ritchie, and another man.

In her decision today, Justice Brown said the accused and the party of three told very different stories about what happened that day.

The people walking down the street testified that there was a brief exchange of words to the effect of “what’s up” followed by the BMW accelerating towards them for no apparent reason. David was pinned under the vehicle, while the two men were able to jump out of the way. Her boyfriend smashed the driver’s side window in an attempt to disable the driver and steer the car away. He was sentenced in 2016 for stabbing the driver.

Loubissi-Morris told a different story. He said he arrived in town the night before and met with an acquaintance who said "let’s get to work and make some money." On Feb. 10, they went to a house well known for being a place where drugs were dealt. Outside, he said some people who looked like drug users were making eye contact and one waved them over. Loubissi-Morris said a man in a red bandana came up to the window, told him to empty his pockets, and then bear sprayed him. Loubissi-Morris says he couldn’t see and hit the gas trying to get away and didn’t mean to drive over David.

Justice Brown said Loubissi-Morris was not a credible or reliable witness.

“He was glib, argumentative, and evasive,” she said.

Even though she did not find him credible, she said she was left with reasonable doubt as to whether or not he intentionally struck David or the other pedestrians with his car, resulting in a finding of not guilty on the two assault related charges. She was convinced, however, that he was operating the vehicle dangerously. Additionally, Brown also found him guilty of possession of a controlled substance — fentanyl.

Loubissi-Morris is next due in court on March 12 to fix a date for sentencing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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