Mugging victim recalls a night he’d rather forget
Snack driver Dominic Levesque believes he’s lucky to be alive after being beaten and robbed on a frigid winter night earlier this month.
Dominic Levesque’s right eye is bloody and bruised. His nose is scarred, his glasses are smashed, and he’s been out of work for a week.
But he’s happy, he said, that three men arrested in connection with the attack are now in custody.
Levesque, a driver for the Snack restaurant, was brutally mugged when he was making a delivery in Iqaluit on Jan. 10. Three young men lured him to a house, jumped him, hit him in the face with a hammer, and robbed him of around $2,000.
Sitting in the Iqaluit courthouse Monday, waiting for three accused men to enter their pleas, Levesque gave his own opinion about what their punishment should be if they’re convicted.
“To go to jail for sure, maybe five or 10 years,” he said.
His boss, Snack manager Martial Fortin agrees. “They tried to kill him.”
With Fortin translating Levesque’s French into English, Levesque explained what happened that night.
In the early morning hours Jan. 10, someone called the Snack, asking for a delivery man to bring a pack of Player’s Lights cigarettes and a Pepsi.
Levesque was the delivery driver working that night. When he arrived at the residence, 2217D, near Joamie School, the lights were off and no one responded to his knock.
He knocked again, and a young man asked him to enter the darkened house. Levesque refused, telling the man that he should pay him there, at the door.
That’s when the three men jumped him, Levesque said.
One got him from behind and another assaulted him from the front, kicking him in the eye. A third man attacked him with a hammer, striking him on the back and shoulders and also on the bridge of his nose, shattering his glasses and opening a gash down the length of his nose.
Levesque went down, and when he got up the men were gone, along with nearly $2,000 in cash.
Fortin said it’s fortunate that Levesque didn’t pass out when he was beaten. That night, temperatures were near -35 C and the windchill was severe. Hypothermia would have set in almost instantly.
Levesque drove back to the Snack, where co-workers called police. He was able to identify one of the men before being taken to Baffin Regional Hospital.
He was released from the hospital about 12 hours later.
Strong-arm robberies such as this are rare in Iqaluit, but not unprecedented. According to RCMP Sgt. Mike O’Malley, in past years police have investigated cases of muggings, especially involving drunks getting assaulted and robbed outside the town’s drinking establishments.
Several years ago there was even a similar case of a premeditated robbery of a delivery driver, he said.
Levesque, who moved to Iqaluit from Quebec in October, said that despite the attack he’ll return to his delivery job once he recovers.
But this time, he said, he’ll be working days.
By Monday, the Iqaluit RCMP had detained three men. On Jan. 12, they arrested Joe Akpalialuk and Herbie Janes, both 21. Jason Keeyookta, 18, was arrested on Jan. 15.
Akpalialuk was charged with robbery, assault causing bodily harm, breach of undertaking, and three counts of breach of probation.
Janes was charged with robbery, assault causing bodily harm, two counts of breach of undertaking and two counts of breach of probation.
Keeyookta was charged with robbery, assault with a weapon, and assault causing bodily harm.
Police said no money was recovered. They believe it was likely spent on alcohol and drugs.
According to the Criminal Code, robbery carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, while assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm are each punishable with up to 10 years in jail. Courts, however, seldom impose maximum sentences.