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Heated Canada Day exchange results in assault conviction for P.E.I. man

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A provincial court judge has found a man guilty of assaulting a male neighbour in the victim’s Charlottetown apartment.

Judge John Douglas said he would wait until next week to set a date for sentencing Jason Smith on both assault and mischief convictions.

Douglas said testimony in court Friday from the victim, Dana Cheverie, and Cheverie’s girlfriend Alyssia Johnston was credible.

Cheverie testified that Smith punched him in the nose and that Smith’s girlfriend Arron Gaudet slapped him in the face.

He also testified that Smith damaged Cheverie’s apartment door by forcing his way into the apartment and went on to smash a plate and damage Cheverie’s phone by knocking it to the floor.

Cheverie told the court he had drank a pint of whiskey after returning with his girlfriend to their apartment on Kensington Road after watching Canada Day fireworks.

He got into a heated exchange with Smith after hearing Smith scream out a threat to kill Mike Gaudet, a good friend of Cheverie’s, if the man was in Cheverie’s apartment.

Mike Gaudet, the court learned, was a former tenant of the apartment building but was evicted. Smith and his girlfriend both testified against Mike Gaudet at his eviction hearing.

Cheverie said the assault was unprovoked and noted that he was not trying to start a fight and had asked Smith “multiple times’’ to leave his apartment.

Johnston testified that Smith was yelling and screaming when he “just kind of barged his way in’’ to the apartment.

She said there was shoving back and forth between Smith and her boyfriend Cheverie.

She testified that Smith punched Cheverie in the face and Arron Gaudet slapped Smith in the face.

Arron Gaudet called that claim a “complete fabrication.’’

She testified that her boyfriend Smith had drank about 10 beer on Canada Day but even though he took exception to an insulting remark Cheverie made about her, Smith did not enter Cheverie’s apartment and did not punch him.

She testified that she even called the police because she wanted to see volatile situation defused.

Cheverie did not take the stand.

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