For­tune man beaten dur­ing vi­o­lent at­tack in his own home

Brother had gun put to his head for bank card PIN, sis­ter says

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY PAUL HERRIDGE FOR­TUNE, N.L. [email protected]­erngazette.ca

Rae­lene Drake Car­roll says an at­tack on her brother has left her won­der­ing if peo­ple are safe in their own homes.

Michael Drake was alone at his house in For­tune in the early morn­ing hours of Sun­day, Nov. 18 when he was bru­tally beaten, ac­cord­ing to Drake Car­roll.

“He’s think­ing that he opened the door and it was banged into his head be­cause he had a mark right down through the right side of his head,” she told The South­ern Gazette on Mon­day, Nov. 26, adding Drake is hav­ing trou­ble re­mem­ber­ing what hap­pened.

Ac­cord­ing to Drake Car­roll, who also lives in For­tune, a neigh­bour vis­ited Drake a short time af­ter the in­ci­dent and found him. She helped clean him up and he went to bed.

Drake Car­roll re­ceived a call in­form­ing her what had hap­pened later that morn­ing and went to see her brother. She said the porch was cov­ered in blood and the house was “ram shack­led.” Her brother was in rough shape but wouldn’t go to the hos­pi­tal.

That evening, he changed his mind, she said. That’s when the po­lice were called and he sought med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

Drake Car­roll said her brother, a fish­er­man, suf­fered in­juries to his head and back mostly. The day af­ter the at­tack, Drake also had a CT scan done at the hos­pi­tal in Burin.

“Noth­ing came back on it, which I sup­pose is good, but he’s hav­ing a lot of pain in his head, and he’s still got, like, ver­tigo,” she said.

Drake Car­roll says Drake in­di­cated at least two peo­ple were in­volved in the at­tack, but he swears he doesn’t re­mem­ber who they were. She be­lieves who­ever is re­spon­si­ble was look­ing for money. When they didn’t find any, they used a gun be­long­ing to Drake to get the per­sonal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber (PIN) for his bank card from him.

“The gun was put to the back of his head and he heard the gun like pump or what­ever, and he re­mem­bers them say­ing, ‘Give me the f’in PIN,’ and that’s when he gave the PIN num­ber,” Drake Car­roll said. “When I went up that morn­ing, there were shells on the floor up­stairs and there were shells down­stairs in the kitchen.”

Drake Car­roll said a call to Sco­tia­bank con­firmed $500 was with­drawn from Drake’s bank ac­count at the branch in Grand Bank at around 2 a.m. on Nov. 18.

A grey car was seen be­hind Drake’s house in the same time frame the at­tack oc­curred.

“Michael is quiet, he’s hard work­ing, he’s a lov­ing dad to his kids … and I mean there’s noth­ing that Mike wouldn’t do for you,” she said. “Mike didn’t bring this on him­self, I don’t be­lieve for one minute he brought this on him­self.”

Drake Car­roll says she’s grate­ful her brother is alive.

“We’re hop­ing time will heal. We don’t know,” she said.

Be­cause of his in­juries, Drake has missed a fish­ing trip.

“It needs to be out there. Peo­ple needs to be aware, to be more care­ful, be more safe around their prop­erty and lock things that they never locked be­fore, es­pe­cially peo­ple liv­ing alone – not just the el­derly, any­body is sus­cep­ti­ble to it,” Drake Car­roll says.

The RCMP is­sued a news re­lease on Nov. 26, af­ter The South­ern Gazette had spo­ken to Drake Car­roll, con­firm­ing a home in­va­sion is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in For­tune and there have been no ar­rests as of yet.

While Drake Car­roll knows it can take some time, she and her fam­ily were dis­mayed the po­lice took so long to go pub­lic with in­for­ma­tion about the at­tack.

In an email to The South­ern Gazette on Nov. 27, Cpl. Jo­lene Gar­land, me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer for the RCMP’s B Di­vi­sion, in­di­cated once the in­ci­dent was re­ported to the Burin Penin­sula RCMP, of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately be­gan con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Pub­lic safety is para­mount to the RCMP and if there was a rea­son to be­lieve there was a risk to pub­lic safety that would have been ad­dressed im­me­di­ately,” she wrote.

“If no pub­lic safety risk is be­lieved to be present there are of­ten a large num­ber of in­ves­tiga­tive con­sid­er­a­tions in is­su­ing a me­dia re­lease and mak­ing cer­tain in­for­ma­tion known to the pub­lic.”

This is the third vi­o­lent in­ci­dent in re­cent weeks on the Burin Penin­sula. A man was found un­con­scious with se­ri­ous in­juries near Canada Post in Marys­town on Nov. 1. That same week, another man was found in a ditch near the com­mu­nity cen­tre in Lewin’s Cove. He had also suf­fered sig­nif­i­cant in­juries. Po­lice have said those two in­ci­dents were un­re­lated.

“Not just For­tune, but so many places, ev­ery­thing is gone crazy, and you just kind of got to live in it, but when some­thing like this hap­pens, yeah, I truly do think it needs to be brought to the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion,” Drake Car­roll said.

“Michael is quiet, he’s hard work­ing, he’s a lov­ing dad to his kids … and I mean there’s noth­ing that Mike wouldn’t do for you.”

- Drake Car­roll

CON­TRIB­UTED

Michael Drake was at­tacked in his For­tune home on Sun­day, Nov. 18, ac­cord­ing to his sis­ter, Rae­lene Drake Car­roll.

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