Cab driver finger-biter makes first court appearance

Cab driver finger-biter makes first court appearance

(Updated on May 31)

The man charged with biting off the tip of a Comox Valley cab driver’s finger last month made his first court appearance for the incident on May 31.

Peter Valdal was charged by the Comox Valley RCMP with aggravated assault after an incident on April 28 behind the 7-11 on Ryan Road.

Read More: Comox Taxi driver has tip of finger bitten off by ‘irate’ passenger

An agent on behalf of Valdal appeared in court on Thursday morning, mentioning the possibility of a guilty plea and an issued apology. Valdal later appeared in court himself the same day, without a lawyer present. The case was put over until June 14 so he could have time to speak to counsel.

Comox Taxi driver Bruce Morgan said he had picked up a passenger by the Simms Park gazebo around 7:30 p.m. on April 28. Morgan said the passenger (Valdal) was initially unresponsive when asked for a destination.

After driving for a few minutes, Morgan said Valdal asked him to pull over behind the 7-11.

Morgan claimed that after a short exchange, he told the passenger he would have to drive to the police station if he did not co-operate, after which Valdal started “throwing punches.”

“I blocked most of it. I put my hand under his jaw and pushed his head against the window. That’s how my fingers got close to his mouth. He grabbed the ring finger on my right hand and bit a piece of it off,” Morgan told The Record.

Following that, Morgan said Valdal lunged across the console and put him in a headlock. Morgan got the door open and the two tumbled out onto the ground.

Coincidentally, an off-duty Comox Taxi driver witnessed the altercation and came to Morgan’s aid. He held Valdal down while Morgan called the police.

The cab driver received medical attention at the hospital and despite losing the tip of his finger, managed to return to work the same night. He later filed a WCB claim.

According to Court Services Online, Thursday marked Valdal’s 10th appearance at the Courtenay law courts since 2002.