If you drive by Vernon, B.C.’s Polson Park on a Saturday afternoon, you’ll usually see a group of COVID restriction protesters, and nearby, a man with a very tall sign trying to debunk pandemic conspiracy theories.
Carrying signs with messages like “COVID is not a plot,” Korry Zepik has been regularly counter-protesting at demonstrations against COVID restrictions.
“I think what we need to do is bring some reasoned discussion out and try to make things better,” Zepik said.
However, this past Saturday, Zepik says his difference of opinion with the main rally turned violent and he suffered injuries in a physical confrontation.
The Vernon man said his injuries included scratches, bruising, and a black eye.
The RCMP is now investigating and there are conflicting reports about who was the aggressor.
Zepik describes the interaction really escalating when someone who had already damaged some of his signs tried to spray paint another one. Zepik said he twice pulled the guy back.
“When I did that I started to realize that I had a bit of a bull on me and at that point in time he started trying to lash out at me and I was just trying to say behind him and hold on to him,” Zepik said.
Zepik said, at some point, they both toppled.
“I was underneath and that is when I felt him with his hand take the side of my head and smash this side of my head into the pavement. I was really quite dazed and he started hammering on me so I reached up and I tried to push him away. Put my hand on his face to push him away.”
Zepik said eventually a woman came and grabbed his hand away and yelled “Stop!” and that is when the other man “disappeared into the crowd.”
While Zepik was speaking to Global News the interview was interrupted by former PPC Candidate Kyle Delfing, who accused Zepik of being the aggressor and also blowing an air horn “in old ladies’ faces.”
Zepik had an airhorn with him but says it was always pointed at traffic.
Delfing said he did not witness the incident firsthand.
The allegation that Zepik was the aggressor was also made by an anti-vaccine demonstrator who says he witnessed part of the interaction. Darren Seymour said Zepik “attacked the other guy first.”
Zepik denied he was the aggressor.
“I would say that that’s quite the fabrication. It is quite an interesting and elaborate lie,” he said.
Zepik plans to continue counter-protesting.
Vernon RCMP have confirmed they responded to a report of a fight in progress on Saturday afternoon and a 52-year-old man, not Zepik, was arrested but released shortly afterward.
Police said they have not recommended any charges at this point, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.