Drunken, armed altercations puts Iqaluit on edge

Brawling men face assault and firearm charges



A man was stabbed and another maimed after an alcohol-fueled dispute in Iqaluit on Feb. 22. Both men face a host of charges, including firearms violations.

Iqaluit RCMP said a 23-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach during an argument at house 115 just before 7 a.m. last Saturday. During the dispute, a second man suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had an ear lobe removed.

Both males were treated and released from Baffin Regional Hospital.

Alvin Panipakoochoo, the stabbing victim, faces one charge of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and two firearm charges.

Joapie Ootoova, 32, who lost an ear lobe, faces one charge of criminal harassment and breach of a peace bond.

More charges may still be laid against Ootoova, said Cpl. Rick Comeau.

Police would not say what the fight was about while the charges are before the courts. Neither man resides at House 115.

Comeau, who attended the call, said alcohol was a factor.

Police arrived at the scene and were told one man had a firearm, Comeau said.

No shots were fired.

Residents at the Oqota Emergency Shelter were informed of the armed battle unfolding across the street.

“It was tense not knowing what was going on,” said Joamie Kilabuk, acting executive director of the shelter.

The 14 residents were holed up in one of the shelter’s bedrooms for an hour before police said the area was safe.

Both men are in custody at BCC awaiting court appearances on March 3.

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