A vicious beach attack that left a Penticton man with a serious brain injury has resulted in a guilty plea.
Thomas Kruger-Allen, 22, appeared in B.C. Supreme Court via video Monday morning and quietly said “guilty” to a charge of aggravated assault.
On May 3, 2019, Brad Eliason fell back and smashed his head on the concrete after after a one-punch attack at Okanagan Lake beach.
According to Eliason,’s wife, Chelsea Townend, Eliason was enjoying a bonfire with a friend when at around 11:30 p.m. two intoxicated and unknown men approached.
The young men allegedly harassed a group of nearby youth and that’s when things began to escalate, she said.
Eliason, a Good Samaritan, intervened in the dispute when he was assaulted.
He was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital and underwent emergency brain surgery, Townend said.
He required 56 stitches to his skull and he was placed in a medically induced coma because of the swelling on his brain.
When reached by phone, Eliason said he spent two months in hospital and is still recovering at home from head and leg injuries.
He declined to comment on the guilty plea entered by his attacker, but said he hopes Kruger-Allen is punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Eliason said the attack ruined his life and he may never be able to work again.
“I can’t do anything so, and it basically ruined it,” he said. “It’s like hell freezing over, that’s all I can say.”
In court, Kruger-Allen also pleaded guilty to assaulting two other people on the beach, but the charge of sexual assault was dropped.
The matter will be back in court on July 20 to fix a date for sentencing.