Volume 92, Issue 80

Thursday, February 18, 1999


Publication notice

Wave assault suspects sign deal

Apology made for election errors

Nervousness surrounds renovation funding

Job opportunities only a click away

Portable home in a box

Marijuana debate rolls into parliamentary hands

Safety an important part of slacking


Caught on campus

Wave assault suspects sign deal

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

The four men arrested in last September's assault at the Wave had their day in court yesterday with all but two charges dismissed.

Wesam and Hasem Halbouni and Hishan Lebada all faced assault charges for their alleged involvement in the incident, while Hany Lebada faced two assault charges plus one charge of uttering threats. An agreement reached shortly before the trial began saw Hany and Wesam plead guilty to the assault counts with all other charges dropped.

Assistant crown attorney John Skowronski explained the proposed settlement to the judge and requested the two men pleading guilty be required to pay a $200 fine within the next 60 days. Skowronski made a point of separating the actions of the defendants from those of a group of individuals referred to as the "preppy gang" who were blamed for several assaults late last year.

"The involvement of the parties has been equated with a term known as 'preppy' involvement – I wanted for the record to indicate this was not part of the same thing. They have been unfairly characterized."

However, Jeff Armour, a manager at the Wave who was assaulted in the altercation, said there is no question the defendants were part of the "preppy gang."

"Since this incident, there haven't been any more incidents. The Wave should be proud – it's the first bar that stood up to these guys."

Armour added as long as the crown is satisfied with the settlement, he is too and he holds no hard feelings towards the defendants. "I hope it's done for them and they can get on to something more productive with their lives – I wasn't looking for revenge."

Harold Stafford, lawyer for the Halbounis, said he felt the settlement was a fair decision which probably saved a day and a half of trial time. He added while one can never bet on the outcome of a trial he was confident his clients would have won their case. "It would look like the crown's evidence wasn't too strong."

Murray Neilson, lawyer for the Lebadas, said although his clients are happy the event is behind them, Hany is not pleased about having a criminal record. Neilson said he respected the crown's decision to say his clients were not associated with the "preppy gang," adding his clients received an anonymous letter because of this alleged association which can only be described as vulgar and racist in nature.

After the settlement was reached, Hasem said he would rather have fought in a trial and gotten everyone off because they are "unbeatable."

"This whole thing was a joke. They had nothing on us – they know we were going to kick their ass."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999