Woman acquitted in heated confrontation outside North Vancouver sushi restaurant

Click to play video: 'Woman acquitted in heated confrontation outside North Vancouver sushi restaurant'
Woman acquitted in heated confrontation outside North Vancouver sushi restaurant
A North Vancouver woman who was caught on video berating a store owner after he asked her to stop letting her dog pee on his storefront has been acquitted of one charge of causing a disturbance. Aaron McArthur reports – Apr 23, 2024

A B.C. court has acquitted a woman accused of going on a racist tirade against a North Vancouver sushi restaurant owner two years ago.

Sylvia Lynne Taylor was charged with causing a disturbance after a video capturing a part of the August 2022 exchange circulated widely on social media.

Nobu Sushi owner Edward Hur said that the altercation began after he told Taylor not to let her dog pee on the front of his restaurant.

He alleged Taylor had spat on him and said she hated Asian people before he began filming the dispute. None of those alleged actions were captured on camera.

Click to play video: 'Sushi restaurant owner on the stand at North Vancouver trial'
Sushi restaurant owner on the stand at North Vancouver trial

The video captured a heated exchange, in which Taylor at one point says, “This is my country. I don’t have a country to go back to.”

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In handing down a verdict Tuesday, B.C. Provincial Court Judge Lindsay Smith found the Crown had not proven its case.

While the conduct captured in the video was “obnoxious and deplorable,” Smith ruled, it did not amount to criminal conduct.

“Mr. Hur gave many interviews with the media that were widely broadcast, that video was shown over and over again. Now that I have been acquitted, I wonder if the media will now have the integrity to report that I am innocent,” Taylor said outside the court.

“I had to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to clear my name, and Mr. Hur on the other hand profited, he got increased business as a result of the public sympathy he garnered — so is there really justice in that?”

Hur told Global News he is disappointed with the result, but that he has a deep respect for the court system.

“That is Canada’s law, I respect Canada’s law,” he said.

“Finally, thank you very much to everyone for your support during that incident.”

Click to play video: 'North Vancouver RCMP investigate alleged racist attack'
North Vancouver RCMP investigate alleged racist attack

Taylor took the stand during the trial, where she admitted the behaviour in the video was cruel and ignorant but denied swearing, spitting or saying she hated Asian people.

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Witness Tracey Lee Buziol disputed that, testifying she heard Taylor say, “Go back to your f—ing country. I hate Asians,” before spitting in Hur’s face.

Ultimately, the judge discounted much of the eyewitness testimony and relied on the video evidence, which at one point shows pedestrians calmly walking by and not bothering to stop.

Taylor’s lawyer David Karp said he was pleased with the result.

“Look, there are things that are said in the heat of an emotional exchange that probably aren’t nice words,” he said.

“But there’s a big difference between that and criminal conduct which sends someone with a criminal record and has implications.”

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