Breaking into business, slapping library patron land man in jail

Braeden McKenzie appeared in provincial court recently and received four months in jail after pleading guilty to several charges.

It was 3:30 a.m. on July 8 when a resident who lived above The Wandering Market heard strange noises coming from the building’s rear, so he went to investigate.

To his surprise, he found a face mask-wearing Braeden McKenzie entering the building through the overhead door window. The tenant grabbed a shovel and attempted to fend off the intruder, but McKenzie gained access and began chasing the man and attacked him. 

The police eventually arrived and arrested the 21-year-old Moose Jaw man.

“The police do indicate that Mr. McKenzie did have minor injuries related to the physical altercation when he was arrested; however, he did not require any medical attention,” Crown prosecutor Rob Parker said recently while reading the facts in Moose Jaw Provincial Court.  

“The police also … seized a crowbar (near the scene), which he had in his possession while he was still outside the building. But he did not take it into the building with him, so it was not used in any way as part of the assault.”

Three months earlier, on April 13, police responded to a disturbance at the Moose Jaw Public Library where they found a senior standing in the lobby with blood dripping from his nose, Parker continued.  

The man told police he was in a bathroom at the library when McKenzie and a friend began pounding on the door, telling him to hurry, but he told them that he had just entered the washroom. 

“Mr. McKenzie began yelling and became agitated. When (the victim) exited the bathroom, he was slapped on the side of the face by McKenzie,” said Parker.

This slap caused the man’s glasses to fall off his face, while the nose pad dug into his skin and caused slight bleeding on the side of his nose, the Crown prosecutor continued, adding McKenzie also breached his probation twice between June and December 2022.

During McKenzie’s court appearance, he pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching his probation, assaulting the man at the library, and breaking into The Wandering Market.

The Crown stayed four other charges.

As part of a joint submission, McKenzie will spend 120 days — or four months — in jail, including 90 days for the break-in, 30 days consecutive for the assault, and 14 days concurrent for the two breaches. 

McKenzie had spent 40 days in custody after his July 8 arrest, so the court credited him with 60 days served. Therefore, he has 60 days left in jail.

Following jail, he will spend 12 months on probation and must follow conditions such as keep the peace and be of good behaviour, take programming or treatment, visit a mental health specialist, and inform his probation officer of those meetings and any medications he must take.

Legal Aid lawyer Suzanne Jeanson explained that McKenzie faces several challenges, including mental illness and addictions, with crystal meth his “drug of choice.” However, he has been sober for the past four months after being put on medication while in hospital.

Moreover, he has sustained his recovery on remand and is putting together a plan to remain healthy, she added. Also, his parents will support him during his probation.

Judge Darren Chow accepted the joint submission and agreed to waive the victim surcharge.  

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