Toronto Spiceman on trial Friday

With criminal charges pending for standing up to an alleged thief, Naveen Polapady is at risk of "losing everything"



TORONTO - The trial of a Toronto restauranteur busted for allegedly throwing masala spice in the eyes of a would-be thief is expected to go ahead Friday.

The three-day trial, which was to move forward Tuesday, was postponed until Friday because of scheduling difficulties.

Naveen Polapady, dubbed the Spiceman, was charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon after the Aug. 21, 2011, incident.

Polapady allegedly threw the spice in the eyes of a man who appeared to be breaking into a car in the alley behind his restaurant and home. A security tape at the establishment captured the scuffle between the pair.

"It's been an ordeal for him," said Calvin Barry, Polapady's lawyer. "He's trying to run his restaurant."

Polapady was also charged with administering a noxious substance because of the masala spice, but that charge was dropped by the Crown attorney.

Barry said on Friday court will hear from police officers who responded to the incident and the complainant. The trial is expected to continue for two days in April, when Polapady will testify.

Lawyers were also to discuss the inclusion of the security tape of the incident as evidence in the trial on Tuesday.

"This case is a little bit unique," Barry said. "Usually, there is a right to remain silent, but we are providing videos that the accused had possession of and putting them before the trial so we are all on the same page."

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