Toronto News | Weather & Traffic | CTV News Toronto
Baseball bat beating stemmed from real estate deal dispute, police say
Published Thursday, June 21, 2018 1:49PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:19PM EDT
Investigators have named a suspect and seized several bats and vehicles connected to a swarming assault where two men were surrounded and severely beaten with sticks on the border of Peel and Halton regions early on Wednesday morning.
Halton Regional Police said they were called to Winston Churchill Boulevard and Steeles Avenue just after midnight on Wednesday for a report of a fight in progress.
Police said multiple suspect vehicles surrounded a pickup truck with three male occupants inside. While the victims’ vehicle was stopped at a light, an undisclosed number of suspects got out of their cars and attacked the three men in the truck with baseball bats.
Two men were left seriously injured after the incident. A third victim escaped with only minor injuries. Det. Const. Dylan Price said Thursday that the two victims continue to recover in hospital.
A witness who filmed the incident told CTV News Toronto the assailants smashed vehicle windows with bats and metal sticks.
The witness said as many as a dozen suspects participated in the assault. Sticks and bats used in the assault were located at the scene by police.
On Thursday, Halton Regional Police investigators released more information about a possible motive for the incident.
Investigators say that one of the victims “brokered a real estate deal between a Brampton property owner” and one of the suspects.
The victim accepted a deposit from the suspect to lease a property, police said.
“The property owner subsequently declined the lease offer and requested the victim return the deposit,” Police said Thursday. “Discussions between the victim and (the suspect) regarding the declined offer grew heated. This resulted in the victim fearing for his safety.”
The victim and two of his friends arranged to meet the suspect near Winston Churchill Boulevard and Steeles Avenue to return the deposit when the assault took place.
On Thursday, investigators searched a Brampton home and seized two cars believed to have been used to transport suspects to the assault scene and several sticks and a baton.
They also named a suspect wanted in connection with the assault.
Police say they are searching for 20-year-old Rankirat Singh of Brampton. He is wanted for two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault causing bodily harm.
Police are urging him to retain a lawyer and turn himself in. Price described Singh as a South Asian male and said he stands five-feet-ten inches tall.
Price said officers have received video footage of the incident and are continuing to seek more images and video.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-825-4747, ext. 2422.