September 20, 2010
Mikhail Grabovski(notes) didn't play for Belarus in the Vancouver Winter Olympics but still saw some action: Getting into a street fight in the Yaletown district at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 20, being put in a cell by police to cool down and then being released to his parents the following morning.
Not bad for a guy who hadn't played for over a month with the Toronto Maple Leafs due to a broken wrist. As Leafs and U.S. Olympic team GM Brian Burke said at the time: "As far as I know, he's healthy. Stupid but healthy."
Grabovski, attending the Olympics with family to cheer on his Belarusian countrymen, was arrested for a physical altercation but never charged.
However, the Canadian Press reported Monday that his alleged victims have filed a civil suit against him in B.C. Supreme Court ... and that the man in the complaint happened to be wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey at the time of the incident. From the CP:
The suit claimed Dylan Richardson, an autobody finishing technician in nearby Langley, B.C., was in downtown Vancouver on Feb. 20 when Grabovski punched him in the face.
Richardson lost consciousness and fell to the ground, the suit alleged.
"Immediately after striking the plaintiff Dylan Richardson with the intent to further humiliate and denigrate (him), the defendant assaulted and committed a battery on the plaintiff Brenna Richardson by punching (her) in the face," the court document said.
The suit alleged Dylan Richardson has suffered a head injury, multiple facial fractures requiring reconstructive surgery, a back injury, trauma to his mouth, teeth and eyes, memory loss, a change in personality and ongoing headaches, among other things.
Wow ... quite an alleged punch, eh? And the wife, too?
So why wasn't Grabovski charged with a crime at the time? Vancouver Police Const. Lindsey Houghton told the CP that "there was no reasonable grounds to believe that any one person committed an offense" because the brawl involved over a dozen people and that alcohol was (shock of all shocks) a factor in the early morning fight. So it sounds like a difficult case to suss out in court.
If the allegations are proven, Richardson and his wife, Brenna, are seeking damages for lost income, health-care costs as well as punitive damages. Indirectly, the court will also seek to show that Belarus actually managed to beat someone other than Germany while in Vancouver.