A man accused in what Vancouver police described as a racially-motivated attack against an elderly man in Chinatown in 2022 will not be going to trial.
Crown counsel stayed a charge of assault with a weapon against Patrick James Junior Duncan, who turns 46 this year, on Jan. 30 – less than two weeks before a three-day trial was scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 12.
“I am not that person,” Duncan told Global News Monday outside Vancouver provincial court, where he appeared on other charges.
“What happened there was not what it seemed to be, what they’ve been saying it was.”
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The assault with a weapon charge was initially sworn against Duncan in Aug. 2022 in connection with an unprovoked attack on an 87-year-old Asian man earlier that year.
On May 20, the VPD said the senior was bear-sprayed by a stranger during his morning walk along Pender Street.
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“For no reason, he was pepper sprayed, a number of offensive hate anti-Asian hate comments were made against him,” said Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow in September 2022.
Duncan, who said he’s recovering from a serious collision with a taxi while riding his e-bike in April 2023, claimed he suffered memory loss and can’t remember the alleged attack.
In the months prior, Duncan, who said he’s been an active member of the Downtown Eastside for more than 20 years, was struggling with the loss of his fiancée in October 2021.
“I don’t know (what happened) because that was not something that I do,” he told Global News in an interview.
“I’m not a racist in any way, I have friends of all nations.”
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The daughter of the alleged victim, whom Global News is not identifying, said she and her father, who is turning 90 this year, spoke to Crown counsel ahead of the planned trial.
In what she described as a very Zen and forgiving move, her father elected not to pursue trial and instead, let the suspect be.
“I believe in Karma and you know, I didn’t do what I was accused of,” Duncan said.
“I have nothing in my entire life that comes anywhere into a hate crime or anything racial whatsoever.”
Duncan’s criminal record in B.C. dates back to 2002 and includes dozens of theft convictions, several breaches of probation, two assaults and one conviction for escaping lawful custody.
He admits he has shoplifted extensively but denies he was involved in a hate crime.
After years of struggling with alcohol, Duncan pleaded guilty Monday to what he said will be his final breach of probation as he moves on in his life.
“I’ve got some good friends to keep me straight,” he said.
“I’m done with the courts and I will never step foot in here again.”
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