Freedom Fight Promoter Robbery – Ottawa Sun
Mon, July 28, 2008
Hotel room beatdown
Two fighters, promoter of Gatineau martial arts event shocked and battered by attackers
By SCOTT TAYLOR, SUN MEDIA
A mixed martial arts fighter is in a coma after being attacked at a Gatineau hotel early yesterday.
Gatineau police Lt. Claude Vaillancourt said three men were confronted in a hotel room by a group of up to 10 men wielding a Taser in an apparent robbery attempt.
Although he would not identify the men by name, Vaillancourt referred to them as two mixed martial arts fighters and a promoter of Saturday’s Freedom Fight mixed martial arts event at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau.
Yesterday, one fighter was in a medically induced coma at hospital while the other was recuperating from serious injuries. The promoter was only slightly injured.
Vaillancourt said the men were attacked after answering a knock at their hotel room door at about 4 a.m.
When they opened the door, as many as 10 men burst into the room and shocked the men with a Taser before beating them with bottles, kicking and punching them.
A number of women who were in the room at the time were unharmed, Vaillancourt said.
“Just before we arrived, the suspects ran away,” he said. “We discovered three victims. Two of them were fighters from the event. One is in a coma, the other was hurt badly, and the promoter received minor injuries.”
Vaillancourt said the attackers were not known to the men.
He also said officers didn’t find any suspicious items in the room during their investigation.
Freedom Fight executive producer Pete Rodley disputed the police account, saying no one had been injured badly and that the robbers left empty handed.
“They must’ve known the promoter had a good night,” he said.
Rodley refused any further comment on the matter.
The electric shock delivered by a Taser can allow a police officer to temporarily paralyze an individual.
As the use of the weapon by law enforcement agencies has increased, so has the incidence of criminals using stun guns.
RAID ON HOME
Earlier this month, police in London, Ont., seized a stun gun while conducting a raid on a home in that city.
At the time, police officials told Sun Media finding stun guns in the hands of criminals is becoming a routine part of investigations.
Last fall, police in Toronto seized a stun gun from a 13-year-old boy after he carried the weapon to school.
Although it’s illegal to sell or buy stun guns in Canada, individuals are purchasing them online from sellers outside the country.
Police throughout Quebec have been restricted in recent months when it comes to their use of stun guns.
Officers are required to exhaust other methods of controlling suspects, including calling for medical assistance, before resorting to using the electronic device.