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Self-proclaimed Kelowna ‘freedom fighter’ not guilty of causing a disturbance

‘I never was guilty so justice was served,’ said Bruce Orydzuk
Bruce Orydzuk talking to security guard in July. (Video: InfoTel)

It was standing room only in a Provincial Courtroom in Kelowna as supporters of a man charged with causing a disturbing following an incident at a COVID vaccine clinic in 2021 heard a judge declare him not guilty.

“I’m happy that it’s over after two years of nonsense,” said Bruce Orydzuk, after being acquitted by Judge David Ruse on Mar. 19. “I never was guilty so justice was served.”

The incident happened at an Interior Health clinic held at Trinity United Church on Jul. 13, 2021. There were several protestors at the clinic, including Orydzuk.

He was captured on two videos speaking with security guard Anmol Singh, a man of South Asian descent. The videos, one taken by Orydzuk and the other by reporter Carli Berry assigned to a story on the clinic, were entered into evidence during the trial last year.

In them, he can be heard loudly calling Singh disgusting, telling him to go back to his own country, and that he is not wanted here. Singh had intervened in a discussion Orydzuk was having with Berry to de-escalate what he believed was a “heated conversation.”

In handing down his decision, Judge Ruse noted that while Crown counsel had proven the language Orydzuk used towards Singh was insulting and obscene, he could not find that it applied to causing a disturbance. Other witnesses testified that they were emotionally distraught having heard the exchange.

“That is not the manner of a disturbance required to find a conviction,” Judge Ruse added. “Although Mr. Orydzuk’s behaviour towards Mr. Singh was insulting and highly offensive, it did not result in the interference with the ordinary and customary use of the premises by the public. I find him not guilty of the offence as charged.”

At that point, Orydzuk’s supporters began to clap, which earned a stern “shut up” from Judge Ruse.

Several other supporters seated outside the courtroom congratulated and embraced Orydzuk after the verdict.

Orydzuk represented himself during the trial and argued in court that media about the incident unfairly portrayed him as violent and racist.

READ MORE: Kelowna man in court for causing a disturbance outside COVID vaccination clinic

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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