A Kelowna Hells Angel prospect who’s charged with assaulting a woman will go to trial next spring.
In August, 43-year-old Jason Townsend was arrested and charged with simple assault and assault by choking, for an alleged incident that occurred in the early hours of Aug. 7 on Kelowna’s Yates Road.
“Frontline officers immediately attended the scene and found the male suspect had fled the residence prior to police attendance,” said Kelowna RCMP’s Const. Solana Pare at the time. “Officers spoke with the female victim who had been assaulted and suffering non-life threatening injuries.”
On Thursday, Townsend’s two-day trial was set for May 3, 2021.
The Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan reported that Townsend had become a Kelowna Hells Angel prospect in the fall of 2019, after his former club, Prince George’s Renegades motorcycle club, disbanded. A prospect is the final stage before members become full-patch members of the Hells Angels.
Townsend’s former Facebook profile photo shows him wearing a jacket with red and white patches that say “PROSPECT” and “KELOWNA.”
Townsend remains out of custody after he was released on $1,000 bail following his arrest.
This is not Townsend’s first run-in with the justice system. In 2014, he was sentenced to three years in jail for a 2013 assault on two men and a woman outside a Prince George nightclub, but the BC Court of Appeal took a year off his sentence in 2015.
Townsend’s trial will begin on the same date as the trial for another man affiliated with the Kelowna Hells Angels. Colin Bayley will face trial in Kelowna’s Supreme Court for an aggravated assault charge stemming from a May 2019 incident that allegedly put a 41-year-old man in hospital. Kelowna RCMP described Bayley as a “known associate” of the local Hells Angels. His trial has been delayed several times, but it’s now scheduled to also begin on May 3. He is also out of custody on bail.
In a BC Supreme Court decision from last spring, a judge ruled against the BC Civil Forfeiture Office’s attempts to seize Hells Angels clubhouses in Kelowna, Vancouver and Nanaimo. Throughout the lengthy trial, the B.C government identified 14 members of the Kelowna Hells Angels since the chapter was started in 2007. At the time of the 2018-19 trial, the province also identified one prospect and two official “hangarounds.”
The province is appealing the decision.