A Vernon man was found guilty of injuring a tactical officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) in 2021. (Phil Mclachlan - Western News - File)
A Vernon man was found guilty of injuring a tactical officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) in 2021. (Phil Mclachlan - Western News - File)

A Vernon man was found guilty of injuring a tactical officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) in 2021. (Phil Mclachlan - Western News - File) A Vernon man was found guilty of injuring a tactical officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) in 2021. (Phil Mclachlan - Western News - File)

Vernon man accused of pointing a laser at planes found guilty of prison violence

Blake Everett Dergez was sentenced to time served

A Vernon man who allegedly harassed planes in Kelowna with a laser pointer was put on trial today, May 3, for a separate assault while in custody for a previous offense.

On Tuesday, Blake Everett Dergez, 40, appeared in Penticton’s Law Courts and was found guilty of charges of assault with a weapon and assaulting a peace officer, stemming from an incident in July 2021 at the Okanagan Correctional Centre.

While he was in segregation from the general population due to his behaviour at Okanagan Corrections, Dergez dismantled the TV shroud in his cell, and used a two-foot piece of metal taken from the shroud to break several windows in his cell.

OCC’s tactical squad was called in to perform a cell extraction on Dergez, and after attempts were made to get him to comply with orders, they deployed flashbangs and chemical irritants in their attempt to subdue him. That included a gas grenade which Dergez tossed out the broken window.

In a video presented as evidence, Dergez can be heard claiming to be a trained martial artist, to have earned $14,000 in underground fights and that he would kill anyone if they came into his cell.

According to testimony from Richard Hansen, one of the guards and member of the tactical squad involved, when he entered the cell Dergez used the piece of metal during the ensuing struggle as a weapon.

The metal weapon struck Hansen’s shield several times, and then around the shield, which struck Hansen in the hand, breaking the skin underneath his Kevlar gloves.

Dergez did admit to smashing the windows, however he denied using the piece of metal in assaulting Hansen, as well denied making the threats that were heard on video presented in trial. He claimed that he had broken the glass as a protest to the conditions he was being treated to, including allegations that his meals and medication had been withheld that day, and that he was, in his opinion, unfairly being kept in segregation.

The judge found the video evidence to be clear and convincing and that the Dergez’ testimony and claims regarding the struggle with the tactical team were not believable.

“He admitted that it was his voice in the video that could be heard saying to the tactical team that ‘You’ll all be f*?#king dead,’ and ‘I have seven years martial arts experience’ but he maintained those words were not a threat,” said the judge.”

“He was also holding a long metal object in that hand and I saw him bring his hand and that object down and strike Mr. Hensen repeatedly with the metal object,” said the judge during sentencing.

READ MORE: Vernon man arrested after allegedly shining lasers at planes

The judge found Dergez guilty on all counts, and after considering various matters including Dergez’ treatment prior to the struggle, sentenced him to the Crown’s request of six months jail-time.

Dergez has spent 189 days in custody already, and will thus effectively receive a sentence of time served. Dergez is still in custody on other matters.

A prolific offender, Dergez had 21 previous convictions dating back to 2003, including a conviction in 2015 for assaulting a police officer and four previous convictions for assault.

Dergez was also arrested in 2021 for allegedly shining a laser pointer at planes at the Kelowna International Airport among other charges and is scheduled to make an appearance in Vernon’s courts on May 9 on those matters.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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