Woman testifies Mountie wouldn’t stop following her, hit her in face after arguing over mall parking spot

File photo of an RCMP vehicle at a crime scene.

File photo of an RCMP vehicle at a crime scene. The trial of a Burnaby Mountie accused of getting into a physical scrap with a woman over a parking spot outside a Langley mall began in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey on Tuesday. Const. Harinder Paul Singh Pabla is charged with assault. The 16-year member is currently suspended with pay.

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

The trial of a Burnaby Mountie accused of getting into a physical scrap with a woman over a parking spot outside a Langley mall began in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey on Tuesday.

Const. Harinder Paul Singh Pabla is charged with assault. The 16-year member is currently suspended with pay.

On the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2011, Jessica Olive drove to the Willowbrook Shopping Centre to look for an outfit to wear to a party she was planning to attend that evening.

Olive, 23, testified after she parked and locked her vehicle, a man came up to her and told her she had taken his parking spot. She said he seemed a bit upset but described the conversation as normal.

“I apologized. I said I’m sorry,” Olive said, adding that she hadn’t noticed anyone else waiting to park.

When asked how the man responded, Olive dissolved into tears. She said he didn’t seem to accept her apology and made a comment about her sunglasses. She said she told him to “stop being a d—. It’s just a parking spot, let’s move on.”

The man then made a rude comment. “It made me feel dirty,” she said.

Olive walked away but said the man followed her. Olive said she then kicked the man in the shin. He pulled out a badge and said that she had assaulted him and he could press charges. Olive responded that he had verbally assaulted her and walked away again, telling him loudly to stop following her.

When the man followed her again, she hit him with her purse and told him to leave her alone. “I was very scared at that point,” Olive said. “It felt like no matter what I did, he wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t know what else to do to get him away from me.”

Without warning, the man struck Olive in the face. Bystanders then intervened and the police were called.

Crown prosecutor Adam Jantunen said he expects the central issue at trial will be whether Pabla acted in self-defence.

jensaltman@theprovince.com

twitter.com/jensaltman

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