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Man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death thought it was a ‘bar brawl’

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Man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death thought it was a ‘bar brawl’
WATCH ABOVE: Joch Pouk, One of the five men accused in the fatal beating of Lucas Strasser-Hird, took the stand in his own defence on Tuesday. Global’s Tracy Nagai reports – Jun 7, 2016

Joch Pouk, one of five men accused in the 2013 swarming death of Calgary teen Lukas Strasser-Hird, testified in a Calgary court Tuesday that he fought Strasser-Hird, but said he did not have a knife.

Strasser-Hird was beaten, kicked and stabbed outside of a southwest Calgary bar on Nov. 23, 2013. He died several hours later in hospital.

Pouk, Franz Cabrera, Jordan Liao and Assmar Shlah are all on trial, accused of the second-degree murder of the 18-year-old. A fifth man – Nathan Gervais – is charged with first-degree murder. He went missing weeks before the trial and a warrant remains out for his arrest.

READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Lukas Strasser-Hird case

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Pouk testified Tuesday the fight started after Strasser-Hird allegedly sucker-punched one of his friends. Pouk said they ran towards each other, and Pouk took a swing first.

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He said he eventually had Strasser-Hird against a wall and began kneeing him in the head, then threw him to the ground. Pouk said that’s when 10 to 15 other people started jumping on Strasser-Hird.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a horror story in there,’ father says as Strasser-Hird swarming trial enters 5th week

Pouk said he kicked Strasser-Hird no more than four times while he lay on the ground. He said a woman then got in the way, begging him not to beat Strasser-Hird anymore.

He added that when he realized what was happening, he grabbed his friend and left.

Last week in court, Strasser-Hird’s friend Constantin Matei testified about what he saw outside the club the night of Strasser-Hird’s death.

Matei said people were punching and kicking Strasser-Hird in the alley and he tried to pull them off, but they blocked him.

He identified Pouk as one of the attackers.

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“I could see the black guy kicking him in the face about ten times,” Matei said.

This is the sixth week of the jury trial, set to last nine weeks.

With files from Global’s Nancy Hixt

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