Road rage: Man who punched business owner for towing his car has conviction quashed

A man who punched a business owner after he arranged for his car to be towed has had his conviction quashed.

Shen Tsyan pleaded guilty to taking a swing at the business owner’s neck after he arranged for Tsyan’s car to be towed after spotting it in a reserved parking space in 2017.

As the tow truck arrived, Tsyan yelled at the business owner and demanded he pay the towing fee before hitting him in the left side of his neck.

He was then pulled away by bystanders and the victim did not suffer any injuries.

Tsyan apologised to the victim and admitted he had an anger management problem at a restorative justice session.

But this week he has successfully appealed against his conviction on the grounds it would prevent him from obtaining a visiting visa to see his parents in China, as he holds a Russian passport.

Justice Sally Fitzgerald issued a judgment that the conviction entered in the District Court be quashed and Tsyan be discharged without conviction.

In 2015, Tsyan received a discharge without conviction for similar offending and in 2016 received diversion for another assault charge.

“I am troubled that this will be the third time Tsyan has received, in effect, the benefit of the doubt,” Justice Fitzgerald said in her judgment.

“But I also take into account that the … offending occurred some three and a half years ago and there is no suggestion of any further offending.

“Tsyan will of course be under no illusion that the Court is highly unlikely to give him another benefit of the doubt in the event of any future similar offending.”

Claims of racism

Tsyan accused Queenstown police of racism after being served a $150 driving infringement for running an orange light in 2016.

At the first hearing, he claimed he had been targeted ”because I’m Chinese – there’s just one reason”, the Otago Daily Times reported.

He unsuccessfully took the issue to the High Court in Invercargill, where leave to appeal was declined.

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