Saturday 18 May 2019
Some 200 people from Ottawa and beyond joined Emma and Nkechi Ukwu in a Thanksgiving party at the Tom Brown arena on Bayview Street last Saturday. The event was to celebrate the survival and ongoing recovery of their son Ikechukwu, who had suffered serious head injuries as a result of a vicious but unprovoked attack at a downtown Ottawa bar some seven years ago. It will be recalled that young Ike, as he is popularly known, freshly graduated from an Accounting program at Algonquin College, had joined a friend for a snack at a local bar, after finishing his shift at his place of work. An altercation took place and he unwittingly got caught in the middle of it, even though he was just an innocent bystander. Two bar staff were later charged and found guilty of aggravated assault. Several years of intensive rehabilitation followed and the young man whose life had been inexorably changed by this unprovoked attack, has continued to recover both physically and mentally. As he continues his rehabilitation, it remains to be seen how much of his previous function he would regain. But for now, his family used this event to thank God for sparing their son’s life.
All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene
Below is a report from the Ottawa Sun about the court finding on the brutal attack on young Ike.
Two bar managers who maimed a young man with a bright future have been sentenced to stiff prison terms.
Steven Taing, 26, and Jesse Brouillard, 32, were convicted of aggravated assault in July for an attack on Ikechukwu Ukwu that left the 26-year-old with irreparable brain damage.
“Mr. Taing and Mr. Brouillard have changed the course of the life of Mr. Ukwu and his family,” Judge Celynne Dorval wrote in her sentencing decision.
“The Court must denounce this type of behaviour and send a clear message to all persons who, under pretext of acting as ‘security’, assault vulnerable individuals.”
She gave the remorseful Taing three years in the pen and handed Brouillard — whom she deemed to have “higher moral culpability” for sucker punching Ukwu — a 3 1/2-year prison term.
Ukwu had gone to the downtown Skybar/Studio nightclub in June 2012.
A fight broke out between two patrons. Ukwu, who has denied any involvement, found himself getting hustled out by nightclub staff.
Once outside, Taing walked up and punched him. Ukwu fell to the pavement.
As the young man struggled to his feet, Brouillard attacked with what Dorval called a ì”sucker punch.”
“His size, physical build and opportunity to wind up for the blow resulted in the body of Mr. Ukwu being propelled backwards with force,” the judge said.
Ukwu’s head struck a cement border with a “sound compared to a watermelon dropped on a hard surface.”
“Mr. Brouillard chose to deliver a forceful blow to the head of a young man in a vulnerable position. A serious injury was easily foreseeable and inevitable,” Dorval said.
“Mr. Brouillard acted this way for no reason other than his own anger or pride.”
Security footage of the attack was mysteriously erased within minutes. And though Dorval couldn’t say for sure that either man was responsible, she noted that they had access to the tapes.
“It appears preservation of the best evidence was not in their interest,” she said.
Supporters of the two men described them as loyal, caring people and the judge conceded they have excellent prospects for rehabilitation.
Ukwu, however is not so lucky. A recent university graduate, he wanted to become a chartered accountant and was the “pride and hope” of his immigrant family.
More than two years later, he is trying to relearn how to read and write, and he may never be able to live on his own.
Source: Ottawa Sun