PARRY SOUND - A trail of blood stretches across two floors of the downtown apartment building.
The scene shows where resident Mike King half-crawled, half-limped his way along the hallway and up the concrete staircase before getting to the unit of the building’s supervisor, where he finally got some help. Blood flecks and smears are still present along the path King took to safety through the hallway of 31 Gibson Street - the old hospital building that is now an apartment complex.
The attack happened last Wednesday when King asked a group of three young people arguing in the hallway outside his apartment, two men and one woman, to quiet down. There were liquor containers on the floor, and they appeared to be drunk.
“They punched me once right in the face, right in the eye, and I was done there,” said King. “I don’t look it, but I have five disabilities.”
King’s medical challenges are clear to anyone who spends a prolonged amount of time with him. Just about any kind of activity causes him to breathe heavily and require rest. The result is he is very quickly left helpless after just about any physical exertion.
In a fight, he doesn’t stand a chance.
“I’ve got them (problems) all up and down my spine,” he said. “Sometimes I get paralyzed and I can’t move. I’ve got a respiratory problem they’re working on but they can’t find out why. My oxygen desaturates sometimes, which makes me pass out. I’ve had that happen, and it’s very scary for me. The reality is, I cannot defend myself more than five seconds to anybody.”
After the first guy started the attack, his bigger friend got in on the action too, King said while standing in the hallway where the attack took place.
“This guy was going fist-to-fist right to my face. I was right out of it. I fell down in front of my door here and I couldn’t see. I was saying to them, ‘I can’t see. I can’t breathe guys!’ The girl is trying to grab them and she’s holding a cup of alcohol still. I’m saying I can’t breathe. I suffocate and it feels like I’m drowning. While this is going on they’re kicking at and booting my head.”
To escape the attack, he began to move in the direction of the staircase to get help from the building supervisor. Along the way, he was repeatedly attacked by the assailants, who continued to target his head and face.
King has cuts along his legs from his crawl along the hallway and up the stairs.
His face, and in particular his left eye, sustained extensive damage from the attacks as he tried to escape.
“When I tried to go up the stairs, he went and banged me right down on the concrete stairwell. Whatever he was doing then I couldn’t see, but he was hitting my head again, and I’m just trying to get up the stairs,” King said.
If you look closely, you can still see a boot print on King’s face that starts below his eye and extends into his hair line. His eye is scratched, the socket is busted and his nose is broken. King believes that it wouldn’t have taken many more hits for the attack to have killed him.
Other residents asked about the incident all requested that their names not be used out of fear of retribution. One woman said she came very close to being a second victim in the night’s violence.
After entering the hallway as a result of the commotion, she became aware that someone, she didn’t realize until later that it was King, was being chased. She noticed the blood on the walls and floor and threatened to call the police. After confronting the attackers, one of them advanced on her and raised his fist before the woman in the group intervened.
“He was wired and he was going to do some hurt. If it wasn’t for her getting up and pushing him I would have been next,” said the resident, who wished to remain anonymous. “He was coming and she just pushed him. If it wasn’t for that girl I probably would have been brutalized like Mike was.”
Everyone in the building the North Star spoke with said there is a serious need for additional security. They said there are a few apartments where all the trouble seems to generate from and better locks on the outside doors along with cameras in hallways could go a long way to bringing back order to a building that is regularly taken over by undesirables.
Ron Campbell, staff sergeant for the Parry Sound detachment of the OPP, said when police arrived on scene they found blood splattered on the floor, which led them to King, who was being attended to on the floor by paramedics.
“Police canvassed the apartment building based on descriptors from the victim, which subsequently led to locating two persons. They were arrested,” said Campbell.
Mishquazewan Isaac King, 18, and Ryan Swanson, 20, both of Wasauksing First Nation, have each been charged with assault causing bodily harm. In addition, Mishquazewan Isaac King has been charged with breach of probation.