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Outrage in Sarnia, Ont. as alleged senior attacker arrested

Sarnia police have arrested a man after a violent attack on an 81-year-old senior left him with “life-altering injuries.”

Late Thursday, investigators announced a 23-year-old Sarnia man had been arrested.

He has subsequently been charged with multiple offences, including aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, robbery, possession of a weapon, break and enter, failure to comply with a probation order, failure to comply with a release order, theft under $5,000, and trespass by night.

The charges stem from a violent home invasion robbery on Earlscourt Drive on July 22, 2023. It was partially recorded by a security camera.

Over two months later, residents living nearby remain rattled by the attack.

Ellen, who asked her last name not be shared, lives a few houses away from the crime scene.

“It’s crazy. I lock my doors,” she told CTV News London.

Sarnia police are seen going door to door as part of an investigation into a violent home invasion on July 22, 2023. (Source: Sarnia police)

Sarnia police have spent 11 weeks on the case, and confirmed confirm evidence analyzed at the Centre for Forensic Sciences contributed to the arrest.

They also piece together what happened that morning.

Investigators said the 81-year-old awoke to find an intruder in his bedroom. Once attacked, the senior fought back.

“He tried to protect himself, yes,” confirmed Det. Sgt. Johann Lewis.

In the end, the man was badly hurt.

“Our victim did sustain a number of injuries, including lacerations to the head. I believe he received 100 stitches. As well, he had a fractured skull, along with some defensive wounds,” he explained.

Back on Earlscourt Drive, residents remain outraged that anyone — especially a senior — was beaten at home.

Det. Sgt. Johann Lewis of the Sarnia Police Service is seen in Sarnia, Ont. on Sept. 29, 2023. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

“Absolutely, that’s a no, no. Kids animals, seniors, none of that,” said Tom Stephenson.

Joe Miller, who lives in close proximity to the senior couple, wonders if justice will be served.

“In my opinion, the way the justice system is going, they’ll get a slap in the wrist,” he said.

Sarnia Police Chief Derek Davis reaffirmed the courts will decide the case, but he understands community outrage.

“We too experience frustration with certain circumstances. But despite those frameworks, we will continue to do our part,” he said.

For his part, Miller appreciates the efforts of police investigators, but he believes the case sets a precedent for self-protection.

“They’re lucky they did not try it at my house,” he said. 

At the time of this offence, the accused was subject to a recognizance of bail for other violent offences, having been released from custody just three days prior to this attack.

Joe Miller, as seen on Sept. 29, 2023, is a homeowner on Earlscourt Drive in Sarnia, Ont. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London) Top Stories

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