A Princeton man who was involved in a confrontation with a group of teenagers in the Dairy Queen parking lot last fall was handed a 12-month suspended sentence in Princeton circuit court February 13.
Provincial court judge Greg Koturbash advised Tyler McLean, 33, to listen to his mother and “stay on the straight and narrow.”
When passing sentence he said: “You are pretty lucky your mom never gave up on you.”
McLean pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance and dangerous driving, while a charge of uttering threats was stayed.
McLean was scheduled for trial, however eleventh hour negotiations between the crown and defense attorneys resulted in the plea and sentencing recommendations.
Court heard that on September 19, 2019, McLean became angry when he saw four young people looking in the windows of his Mercedes SUV.
“As I understand it he was of the view that these young folks were wanting to, or had, messed around with his vehicle,” said Crown attorney Andrew Vandersluys. “He was yelling and carrying on and, at least according to one of the youth, challenged them to a fight.”
McLean left the parking lot driving erratically, said Vandersluys. While heading out of town on Highway 3 he was speeding and passing other cars in an unsafe manner.
He was later arrested outside his mother’s home in Princeton.
Police had concerns that McLean “may have been under the influence of some sort of drug.”
Defense counsel informed the court McLean was being chased by the uncle of one of the teenagers, who opened his window, shouted and made gestures.
“Mr. McLean admits he was in the wrong of what happened and it was inappropriate….I think everybody involved behaved inappropriately in the circumstances and blame lies probably on both sides of the equation.”
McLean was placed under house arrest, living with his mother, following the incident.
He acknowledged he has a lengthy criminal history and told the court he has struggled with addiction since he was 17.
“What you see on my record, there has not been one thing that has happened there when I have been sober.”
He reported he has not used drugs since his last arrest, has received counselling, mended relationships with family members and is working towards a high school diploma.
“I am just here to take part for my responsibility in the whole situation.”
Koturbash expressed appreciation for McLean’s progress.
“That’s pretty cool stuff. We don’t get to hear these stories in this building very often,” he said. “[People with addiction] keep coming back, and coming back and then we read the obituary. I’m am glad we are not reading your obituary today.”
He gave considerable credit to McLean’s mother.
“I don’t think you’d be here today without her…It sounds like she is having a positive influence on you. Keep following her direction.”
In accepting the joint crown and defense recommendation to suspend McLean’s sentence, Koturbash noted the man’s actions “put other people’s lives at risk.”
As part of the conditions for McLean’s release into the community, Koturbash said McLean must participate in restorative justice if it is ordered by a probation officer.
“I think it would be helpful if it did happen, if you and these young people got to sit at a table and you got the opportunity to apologize for what happened and to talk to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”
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