Teen accused in Caledonia fracas freed on $5,000 bail

Teen accused in Caledonia fracas freed on $5,000 bail

November 08, 2007
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
Cayuga (Nov 8, 2007)

A teenager was released on $5,000 bail yesterday over his alleged involvement in a confrontation that landed a Caledonia house builder in hospital with a fractured skull.

Byron Powless, 18, who faces charges of breaking and entering and assault, surrendered to police this week.

A justice of the peace in Cayuga court released him after Six Nations businessman Melvin Styres pledged the bail money and agreed to supervise him while the case is before the courts.

Powless is one of three Six Nations teenagers facing charges in connection with an attack on Sam Gualtieri, 52, and his nephew, Dominic Gualtieri, in his 20s, during a confrontation at Stirling Woods subdivision in Caledonia on Sept. 13.

A 15-year-old male, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was released on $5,000 bail in September. He was charged with breaking and entering, assault and uttering death threats.

Richard Smoke, 18, is wanted on charges of aggravated assault and breaking and entering.

Sam Gualtieri spent five days in hospital, including three days in intensive care, after suffering facial injuries, a fractured shoulder blade and two skull fractures.

In summarizing the case yesterday, assistant Crown attorney Mitchell Hoffman said the attack occurred after Gualtieri, his nephew and two other construction workers went to check a house Gualtieri was building for his daughter at Stirling Woods. He was concerned because native protesters were occupying the site .

Hoffman said the construction workers were met by three male protesters who refused to leave and challenged them to a fight.

There was no order against publication at the bail hearing.

But all allegations have yet to be proved in court.

As part of the bail conditions, Powless must live on the Six Nations reserve with his parents, have no contact with the alleged victims and not possess any firearms, explosives or ammunition.

Styres said he agreed to be Powless’s surety because he believes it’s an important time in Canadian history as the Six Nations Haudenosaunee try to assert their land rights.

“He was defending the right of the Haudenosaunee people (to their land) as he understands it,” he said.

He added he would teach Powless to act within the “confines of the Canadian law, so he doesn’t end up in this building again.”

Powless must return to Cayuga court on Dec. 5.

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