Victim in brutal New Year’s Day assault ‘talking and able to walk around:’ police
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, January 17, 2019 11:19AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2019 12:22PM EST
A 36-year-old man who was knocked out after he hurled a garbage bag at a vehicle containing men who said something lewd to his girlfriend early on New Year’s Day is starting to make a recovery, as police continue to work to identify his assailants.
David Shellnutt was walking along Queen Street West just west of Bathurst Street at around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 when Det. Scott Allan says two men in a passing blue Dodge Charger “communicated a lewd remark” towards his girlfriend.
A clearer picture of what led to the assault was revealed when police aired several surveillance camera clips at a news conference Thursday.
“He picks up a bag of garbage and throws it at the vehicle before retreating,” Allan said.
Two men then exit the Dodge, follow Shellnutt for a time and force him off the sidewalk onto the street.
He returns to the sidewalk when one of the suspects throws a punch that connects.
“One male strikes Mr. Shellnutt in the right side of his head causing him to go rigid and fall backwards onto the concrete,” Allan said. “The second male approaches Mr. Shellnutt and strikes him again on the left side of his face.”
One of the assailants then runs to grab his coat off the ground before both return to the Dodge and speed off.
Allan said they’ve pieced together surveillance camera footage to follow the vehicle through downtown.
It turned up at King Street West and Peter Street at 12:44 a.m.
The vehicle is described as a 2019 Dodge Charger SXT with a unique blue paint job. Allan said efforts have so far failed to find its license plate number, and the vehicle could possibly be a rental.
Police originally said that the victim sustained a “serious head injury” in the attack but they later said that his condition had deteriorated and that his injuries were life-threatening.
On Thursday, Allan said Shellnutt is starting to recover.
“He’s talking and he’s able to walk around.”
When the assault occurred, a colleague at the law firm Shellnutt works at described him as a “wonderful” person, and said the firm was very disturbed by what had occurred.
The first suspect in the assault is described as 25-35 years-old, standing six-feet-one inches tall, with a medium build, dark brown hair in corn rows and a light detailed beard. He was wearing a grey coat, black hooded top, black pants with tears on the front and black running shoes with blue soles at the time of the incident.
The second suspect is described as 25-35-years-old, standing five-feet-nine inches tall, with a medium build, short dark brown hair, a goatee and possibly a moustache. He was wearing eyeglasses, a black waist-length coat, a black hooded top and medium wash blue jeans with navy blue running shoes at the time of the assault.
Both men are wanted for aggravated assault.
Allan said anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 14 Division at 416-808-1400.
He said Shellnutt will not face any charges for throwing the bag of garbage at the suspect vehicle.