Kelly Fair was shocked when he first learned he was charged with assaulting a DATS driver during an incident on April 10, 2018.
But when it came time to face his accuser in court, the charges against Fair were withdrawn by the Crown prosecutor.
“Upon consideration of all of the circumstances of the case, the Crown no longer had a reasonable likelihood of conviction on the assault charge,” a Department of Justice and the Solicitor General spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Therefore, the Crown applied to withdraw the charge against him.”
Fair is visually impaired and can see shadows. Fair’s roommate is both visually and mobility impaired.
Fair, 54, had put in a request for a DATS van to pick him up, along with his guide dog and his roommate from their basement suite in the neighbourhood of Summerside last April.
The DATS driver arrived to pick the pair up, and the driver asked Fair’s roommate to move to the van’s back row. Fair said his roommate’s disability prevented her from climbing toward the rear seats.
As well, Fair realized there wasn’t enough room inside the vehicle for both him and his guide dog.
When Fair tried to get out of the vehicle to adjust the seat, he said he bumped into the driver, causing the driver to stumble back.
The DATS driver called his supervisor, who did not ask Fair for a statement. Within hours, police informed him he’d been charged with assault, he said.
“I might have gotten a little hot-tempered and vocal, but … within the 31 years I’ve been riding with DATS, I have never assaulted anyone,” Fair said at the time.
The assault charge against Fair was dropped in provincial court on October 25, 2018.