Father Who Directed Beating of 14-Year-Old High School Student Ordered to Pay Over $479,000

August 25, 2020 Updated: August 27, 2020

The man who orchestrated an assault on a grade 9 student in 2009, out of revenge for his younger son, was ordered to pay over $497,000 in damages, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled last week.

Micheal Daniel Tilton was convicted of two counts of assault by the Provincial Court in 2011 for causing bodily harm to the victim, Riley Robert Siegerist, and head-butting a by-stander who wanted to stop the beating. Siegerist was 14 years old at the time. The judgement was never reported.

The Revenge

The assault happened in April 2009.

Tilton, then 45 year old, was looking for Siegerist at Delta high school in his truck. In the days before, Siegerist had punched Tilton’s younger son, S.T., in the face after the younger Tilton told Siegerist that he had kissed Siegerist’s girlfriend. Both boys had also verbally insulted each other.

Tilton was with his older son, M.T., in the front seat, and two male adults in the back, wielding metal batons.

When they spotted Siegerist, Tilton stopped his truck abruptly.

“[Tilton] turned his head to the backseat and said something like, “Go get ’em, which immediately resulted in the two unknown males exiting the truck and chasing [Siegerist]. One or both of these men were armed with an item similar to an asp baton. The two males caught up to [Siegerist], who had tripped and fallen, and they began to strike [Siegerist] with the baton and their fists. [Siegerist] was struck several times on the head and upper body,” the ruling says.

The Threat

When Tilton and his older son arrived at the scene, Tilton told the two men to let his older son “get in there,” according to the court rulings in 2011. The men stopped and the two boys started to wrestle.

Tilton “uttered words of encouragement” to his older son, and said to Siegerist, “This is what you get.”

At the end of the assault, Tilton went over to Siegerist and put his arm around him and said, “Are we even now?” Siegerist angrily responded “no,” recounts the judgement.

The Aftermath

Siegerist suffered concussion, a fractured nose, and bruises over his body. Now 26, Siegerist claims that he suffered from “paranoia, anxiety, and depression.” He became hyper-vigilant and says he feels that any man close to his age may attack him. He also suffers from migraines.

Siegerist’s mother told the court that since the attack, Siegerist had frequent emotional outbursts and was like “a rollercoaster of emotions, presenting on some days very somber and on others, crying and feeling helpless, with no sense of belonging and feeling unsafe,” summarizes the judgement.

Siegerist’s wife confirmed that Siegerist was struggling with back pain, headaches and anxiety. She said they refrained from eating out in restaurants and other public places because Siegerist would become agitated when people were present. He would also become very quiet and shaky.

The Tension, Again

Tilton represented himself in the recent court hearings cross-examined Siegerist directly.

Justice Paul Walker noted that Siegerist “was clearly distressed in having to face questions directly from Mr. Tilton.”

During the cross examination, Tilton asked Siegerist if he could sense he really meant “Are you okay?” when he asked him after the attack.

“No,” Siegerist said. “And if you did which was not what I recall, it was in an extremely belittling manner. You were trying to assert dominance is what I felt, over a 14-year-old boy,” he continued.

Tilton asked him why Siegerist believed so. Siegerist responded that Tilton’s demeanor and the fact Tilton brought   assailants to beat him with batons at his school, where he was supposed to feel safe, made him believe so.

The Verdict

Justice Walker accepted Siegerist’s evidence that the assault was “etched in his memory.”

“His psychological symptoms are akin to PTSD,” Walker said. “His physical and psychological injuries have affected all aspects of his life.”

In compensation to Siegerist, Walker awarded him a total amount of $479,376.88 for the injuries he suffered from the assault. It includes non-pecuniary (unrelated to money) damages, loss of past earning capacity, loss of future income earning capacity, cost of future care, and aggravated damages.