'Rocked me to the core,' says man charged in Costco incident
David Lavoie, the man accused of assaulting a Muslim man in a Costco parking lot last month, is speaking out and tells a much different story of how events transpired.
“It has rocked me to the core, to be called a racist,” he says.
Lavoie claims the events began when a vehicle pulled in front of his truck as he was preparing to leave.
“I gave my truck a honk of the horn, which, if you’re right in front of my vehicle, you will hear that horn.”
Lavoie claims there was no response from the car, and he proceeded to honk twice more, with no response from the vehicle blocking his path.
“I said they aren’t moving, they aren’t doing anything, not acknowledging, not validating. So I got out of the truck and banged on the side window, nothing.”
He then claims to have come around the front window, to see inside the vehicle, and ask them to move once again.
“And it was like deer in headlights, that straight-looking gaze, not validating, not looking, not communicating, nothing.”
At this point the situation escalates when Lavoie opens the passenger door and a verbal altercation takes place. Moments later when the car is parked two men exit the vehicle with raised fists according Lavoie.
“Both their fists were raised and they were ready to attack me at the same time, I noticed by looking at the vehicle it had Michigan plates on.”
During the ensuing verbal altercation, Lavoie claims to have said, 'F-ing Americans, go back to your country.'
However Dr. Rubina Tahir, who was in the car, remembers it differently, providing a written response to our request.
“I know what I heard…I heard a visibly irate man tell us to go back to our f-ing country.. and nothing about America.”
It's something her brother Nawaz Tahir, a spokesperson for the London Muslim Mosque who was not present for the incident, says strikes a very raw nerve.
“It’s that whole package of the venom, the statement, the anger that’s behind it. That’s troubling to the recipient.”
Lavoie says that as an Indigenous veteran he has worked for years to push for equality in his role as a social worker.
The assertion in the media at the time portraying him as a racist has hurt him personally and professionally.
Lavoie’s lawyer Phil Millar takes issue with how the story was portrayed.
“No one called to get his side of the story, and so the media kind of took an easy story and in the end has destroyed or damaged David’s life. Because now he’s in hiding, he’s getting harassed online, he’s being called a terrorist and a racist."
Lavoie is charged with one count of assault, with a court date on Feb. 16, 2022.