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Man jailed for downtown fight involving pellet gun, knife

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A 27-year-old man who produced a pellet gun and a knife during a fight in downtown Owen Sound in November was sentenced to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of Justice to four related offences Tuesday.

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Michael Follis pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, a knife; carrying a concealed weapon, a BB gun; and two counts of breaching a recognizance of bail, for failing to live in St. Catharines, as set out in the order, and possessing weapons contrary to the order.

Assistant Crown attorney Andrea Camilletti said Follis and a friend were walking along 3rd Avenue East, in the area of the Harbour Inn, after 1 a.m.

They got into an argument with a man they encountered who was unknown to Follis. During the incident, Follis took a pellet pistol from his waistband.

Seeing the gun, the complaint rushed Follis, who in response landed two punches to the other man’s face. They fought briefly, then Follis pulled a concealed pocket knife out and brandished it at him, Camilletti said.

A cab driver saw the fight and called police, who arrived and took the pellet pistol, pocket knife and a fixed-blade knife from Follis.

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Barefoot said the dispute concerned the complainant’s attempt to pet a service dog in training with Follis and his friend, and a dispute over whether it even was a service animal.

Barefoot said Follis had a traumatic childhood during which he suffered abuse. He has a Grade 8 education but intends to earn a high school diploma. He also has mental health issues and in the past he abused substances.

He has a related conviction for a weapons offence and others on his criminal record.

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Justice Gisele M. Miller imposed the six-month jail sentence recommended by Crown and defence. She subtracted enhanced presentence custody of 113 days, which left 67 days to serve in jail. He was ordered not to contact the victim while serving his sentence.

By separate orders, Justice Miller imposed a DNA order and prohibited Follis from possessing weapons for 10 years.

After serving his jail sentence, Miller placed Follis on probation for two years, terms of which forbade him from being within 50 metres of the complainant, and he must undertake any counselling recommended by his probation officer.

Other charges were withdrawn by the Crown.

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