Cellphone footage of the alleged one-punch homicide outside a Tyndall Park home this month muddies the waters on Winnipeg's 15th slaying of 2019, appearing to show the man charged with manslaughter in the death did not initiate the physical confrontation.
The footage — which has been obtained by the Free Press — documents the moments leading up to the back-lane incident that claimed the life of 66-year-old Calvin Chan, who died in hospital several hours after a reported long-simmering neighbourhood dispute turned violent.
Dennis Lloyd Jr. Penner, 24, was charged with manslaughter for the May 11 homicide. After being detained in custody, he was granted bail May 17.
The Free Press has agreed not to publish the video online.
The Winnipeg Police Service had previously declined to confirm whether it has a copy of the video in question, which appears to show Penner being pushed by another man (identified by sources as a friend of Chan) before the alleged fatal punch was thrown. However, sources told the Free Press the footage was turned over to homicide investigators.
WPS spokesman Const. Jay Murray previously said investigators believe Chan was backing his fishing boat into his garage in the area of Burrows Avenue and Albina Way when Penner tried to pull his vehicle into the shared back lane.
Unable to pass, Penner exited his vehicle and an argument broke out, Murray said.
The footage obtained by the Free Press indicates after the initial argument, Penner got back in his vehicle and drove around the block, re-entering the back lane from the opposite direction and pulling into his usual parking spot.
Penner then exited his vehicle for a second time. An argument — between Penner, Chan, and Chan’s friend, who had been helping him park the boat — broke out once more.
Terry Hlady — who has lived in the neighbourhood for decades and whose home is sandwiched between the house Chan shared with his partner and the house Penner shares with his parents — has claimed Chan repeatedly instigated disputes with herself, Penner, and other area residents.
Up until the May 11 incident, however, those disputes have always been verbal in nature, sources said.
The video — which was filmed by accused’s mother and captures the scene through a fence from the family’s backyard — shows Penner marching down the back lane towards Chan and the other man.
He appears to be pointing and gesturing as he walks, and both sides look to be involved in a heated exchange of words.
Chan’s friend, who lives nearby and who the Free Press is not naming, steps forward and appears to push Penner in the chest with both hands. A scuffle between the three men breaks out.
Penner is accused of throwing a single punch that connected with Chan and resulted in the 66-year-old man falling and hitting his head on the pavement.
Seconds later, the scuffle breaks up and Penner can be seen retreating to his home. He was arrested by police not long after.
The May 11 slaying isn’t the first reported one-punch homicide in recent years.
On April 14, 2010, Kelly Clay, 18, died after being punched in the head at a bar on Henderson Highway. Jeremy Botelho, 23, was charged with manslaughter for the death.
However, in June 2012, Botelho was found not guilty. During the trial, Botelho testified Clay had prompted the confrontation.
On March 14, 2004, Dennis Vandal, 49 — brother of then-city councillor and current-MP Dan Vandal — died after being punched in the head by a security guard at a bar. He fell to the ground and struck his head.
Glenn Lizchynsky, 36, was charged with manslaughter, but the Crown later dropped the charge.
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.