Accused Penticton beach attacker appears in court for bail hearing

A man accused of brutally beating another man, described by witnesses as a Good Samaritan, appeared in Penticton provincial court on Monday for a bail hearing.

Thomas Kruger-Allen, 21, is facing charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault and two counts of common assault stemming from the May 3 incident involving several alleged victims on a Penticton beach.

Kruger-Allen has been held in custody since the attack. He appeared via video from the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) wearing an orange prison sweatshirt on Monday morning. The hearing was adjourned to the afternoon.

The evidence and information presented at a bail hearing is generally under a publication ban and cannot be reported.

Chelsea Townend said her husband, Bradley Eliason, was enjoying a bonfire with a friend on Okanagan Lake beach on Lakeshore Drive around 11:30 p.m. when two intoxicated and unknown men approached.

The men allegedly harassed a group of nearby teenagers and that’s when things began to escalate, she said.

After the men allegedly tried to grab a boy’s hat and rip off a girl’s shirt, Eliason stepped in, Townend added.

The altercation moved to the boardwalk and the Penticton resident was allegedly punched in the face. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete.

Eliason required 56 stitches to his skull and he was placed in a medically induced coma because of the swelling on his brain.

Eliason recently awoke from a coma and Townend said he is making a remarkable recovery at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) but still has a long way to go.

“They are looking at putting the skull flap on in a few weeks then once that’s healed its rehabilitation,” she told Global News on Monday.

“He still struggles to form words and sentences so that will take time. His recovery could take anywhere for a year to two years for the brain to heal,” she said.

Townend said she hopes Allen isn’t granted bail as she is concerned about the potential risk to public safety.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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