The mother of a teen who was violently assaulted and “left for dead” by two men on Kelowna’s Rail Trail is speaking out, after learning that, once again, one of the accused is evading police after making bail.
“The fact that he’s out and the fact that he’s violent, that’s rather scary,” said concerned mother Adriana Zackodnik.
In November 2021, Zackodnik’s son was riding his bike when he was assaulted and robbed. Brothers Justin and Kyle Radis were charged with assault and robbery after the incident, but avoided arrest for nine months.
In addition to physical injuries, her son experienced psychological trauma from the attack.
“He’s not as confident riding through town,” said Zackodnik. Her son now has his drivers license and doesn’t spend as much time on his bike.
While the brothers were on the lam, Zackodnik’s son was recovering from extensive injuries caused by the incident. He suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a concussion, dental and nasal fractures and extensive bruising in the attack. She believes that the brothers thought her son was dead because of how severe his injuries were.
Since the Radis brothers’ initial arrest, the pair have been in and out of custody multiple times.
Justin is currently in custody, but his brother Kyle has a warrant out for his arrest after being released on bail in January 2023 and failing to show up for court.
“The fact that they’re not caring leaves all youth unsafe,” said Zackodnik about the court’s decision to release Kyle on bail, despite his history of skipping court.
Zackodnik believes that the assault is a step up in crime and theft in Kelowna. She said that without protective measures in place, vulnerable people are at risk of further assaults.
Const. Mike Della-Paolera, media relations officer with the Kelowna RCMP, said that the police can only suggest charges and custody, but ultimately officers have no say in the matter.
“We catch them, they release them,” said Della-Paolera about what he has called the “revolving door” of the criminal justice system.
“We will arrest [Kyle] and we will put him in front of the courts again, and we will do it as many times as the courts feel necessary.”