A driver who assaulted a 13-year-old boy after a sling shot incident on Highway 3A near Nelson in 2004 has been ordered to pay $34,250 in damages.
On July 2, 2004, Daniel Bolen was driving on Highway 3A near Nelson when a metal ball struck the passenger window of Bolen’s vehicle and the window shattered.
At the time, Dylan Plishka-Humphreys was 13 and was with his friend Arnie van der Holt who actually fired the shot that hit the vehicle.
According to ruling this week, Plishka-Humphreys and his friends ran and hid in a forested area while Bolen and his passenger, James Christopher Ricard, got out of their vehicle and located the teenagers.
The teens heard the approaching men say they were going to “kill ‘em” and “rip their heads off.” Plishka-Humphreys told them he was sorry and “I’m just a kid. I will pay the damages.”
The judgement says Bolen then hit Plishka-Humphreys in the face with “considerable force” and the teenager “repeatedly was struck in the head and face.”
It goes on to say van der Holt told Bolen to stop hitting Plishka-Humphreys, that he was the one that shot the ball bearing and would pay for the damages. Van der Holt was then punched.
Plishka-Humphreys was taken to the hospital and was hospitalized for 2½ days. Photographs from the incident showed significant swelling around the eyes “such that they were both shut.” His right eye was more badly damaged than his left and his nose was swollen.
On September 21, 2005, Bolen pled guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail to be served on weekends plus probation. On February 17, 2012, Justice Mark McEwan found Bolen liable for the assault.
In his reasons for ruling released Monday, Justice F.W. Cole stated: “Considering and weighing all the evidence, the trauma that the plaintiff experienced, the permanent damage to his eye which causes him to suffer on occasion from double vision and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is at an increased risk of anxiety and depresic disorder, I am satisfied that an appropriate award including aggravated damages is the sum of $50,000.”
Also included in the ruling were sums for loss of earning capacity ($25,000), cost of future care ($7,000) and in trust ($2,250) for a total of $84,250.
Ricard settled a claim with Plishka-Humphreys earlier for a total of $50,000. The judge ordered Bolen to pay the remainder of $34,250 and court costs.
Click here for the judge’s ruling.