Canadian radio host and real estate agent Joti Singh Mann was victim of a shocking attack outside his Brampton, Ontario home on Aug. 4. Three masked men armed a machete and an ax surprised Mann as he was getting into his car in his driveway. During a press conference Thursday, police said Mann's mother saved his life by intervening. Mann is a journalist and host with Fateh Media 5, which broadcasts in Punjabi on YouTube and radio.
Peel Regional Police Superintendent Sean Gormley said Mann's mother's actions "certainly contributed to his being here today," reports Voice Online. Police believe Mann was targeted by the attackers, although no motive has been identified, Gormley said. Mann also received a death threat days before the attack and police had plans to help him.
"We do believe this is a targeted incident and the city of Brampton remains a very safe community to live in," Gormley said, reports CBC News. He noted that there have been two other similar incidents involving attacks on members of the media, but he could not say if they were all connected. "Freedom of the press, freedom of expression, is something that we value in our country and it's something that we are going to look into," he added.
A graphic video of the attack shows Mann getting into his white Jeep Rubicon. Three masked men rushed up to the truck and broke the driver's side window. They pulled Mann out of the car and attacked him repeatedly with their weapons. A woman, identified as Mann's mother, ran out of their house, causing the men to flee. Mann's father told CBC the men ran off in a getaway vehicle driven by a fourth man.
Mann survived but suffered "life-altering" injuries. Brampton Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon told CBC he had "lacerations all over his body," as well as "Severe cuts and injuries to his hand." Mann also suffered "muscular issues" and "bone bruises. One of his big toes was also amputated. Dhillon said Mann received a threatening phone call three days before the attack, which has left the Punjabi community in Brampton shaken.
"I think everybody's pretty shaken," Dhillon said. "I spoke to a couple of residents who themselves, you know, they say they're taking a look over their shoulders when they're getting out to go to work in the morning."
The video "chilled me that something that brutal, that vicious, in broad daylight could happen in a very quiet neighborhood," Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown told CBC. He said police have "strong leads" in the case and he hopes the suspects "face the full extent of the law and the consequences" of their actions. He also called Mann's mother "heroic" for standing up to the suspects.
Police released images of the suspects using screenshots from the video. The first person wore black clothing with black gloves and a black baseball hat. The second wore black clothing, black shoes with red laces, and black gloves. The third wore a black sweater with the hood up, grey track pants, and black gloves. All three wore surgical facemasks. Anyone with information should call 22 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 905-453-2121, extension 2233, or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).0comments