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Dad ‘acted out of anger’ when he smashed out step-son’s window

Thursday, March 25th, 2010 | 2:30 pm

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By Joe Fries

A volatile relationship between a man and his step-son reached a Christmastime low when one of them used a hockey stick to smash out the other’s car window.

Harold Kothke, 38, pleaded guilty this morning in Kelowna provincial court to one count of assault with a weapon for the Dec. 25, 2009, attack on his 22-year-old step-son and his car.

Kothke, who court heard has back problems and is in the midst of applying for disability benefits, appeared without a record and received a conditional discharge with 12 months’ probation.

The complainant told police that he had been driving to his home on Jim Bailey Road in his 1992 Lexus, when Kothke began tailgating him in his Pontiac Sunfire. As the victim pulled into his driveway, Kothke appeared at his car door with a hockey stick, which he used to smash out the driver’s side window and mirror on the Lexus. Kothke then began poking the younger man with the stick, before the victim drove away to safety.

But defence counsel Jennifer Lamarre said her client was reacting to an incident a few days earlier where the victim tailgated Kothke’s roommate with Kothke’s daughter in the car.

Lamarre went on to say that the step-son had been yelling obscenities at Kothke prior to him pulling out the hockey stick. She said her client laid on the lumber after spotting a hunting knife in the younger man’s hand.

The two “do not get along very well to say the least,” Lamarre summarized.

Kothke apologized to the court and his victim.

“I acted out of anger,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

Lamarre said her client wished to pay restitution for the damage he caused to the Lexus, although the first quote he received seemed a bit high at $3,600.

“That’s why I don’t drive a Lexus if a window is 3,600 bucks,” remarked Judge Gale Sinclair.

He left the restitution issue for ICBC and Kothke to settle.

“They’ll be in touch with you, I’m sure,” he said with a laugh.

Kothke won’t have a criminal record if he complies with the conditions of his probation, which include no contact with his step-son.

joe@kelowna.com
250-575-4303

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