The suspect at the centre of a disturbing shopping mall parking lot attack in St. Thomas is apologizing through his lawyer.
Mark Phillips, a Toronto-based lawyer, appeared in court Monday in St. Thomas and was released on $5,000 bail.
The 37-year-old is charged with three counts of assault with a weapon and one count of aggravated assault.
“My client, Mr. Phillips, wishes to apologize to Sergio Estepa and his family,” said lawyer Steven Skurka while addressing reporters outside the Elgin County Courthouse. “These are good people, fine members of the community. Mr. Phillips wishes Mr. Estepa a speedy and healthy recovery.”
The confrontation, caught partly on a camera phone, shows a man getting out of a white BMW brandishing a baseball bat, repeatedly yelling “terrorist” and “ISIS” while a person off-camera can be heard telling him to “stay away.”
St. Thomas police were called to the scene at around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 and they were able to locate a suspect later that evening in south London with help from London police.
Estepa was at the mall with his wife, Mariuxis Zambrano, their 13-year-old son, and a friend. The 52-year-old was taken to hospital and treated for severe bruising and a cracked rib.
Phillips was released under several conditions on Monday. He must give up his passport to St. Thomas police, is not allowed in Elgin County except for court appearances, and isn’t allowed weapons. His parents will act as his sureties.
“My client Mark Phillips is grateful to be free, is looking forward to his day in court, and the resolution of these charges,” added Skurka.
Phillips is due back in court on Jan. 23.
With files from Jake Jeffrey