AIRDRIE, AB — Telly Bear says he is feeling better but his wife is too traumatized to go out by herself after they were followed from a gas station and attacked north of Calgary.
RCMP in Airdrie have laid charges after the Indigenous man says his car was rear-ended and he was beaten with a baton while the attacker shouted racist slurs at him and his wife.
Mounties say they received a call about an assault just before 11 p.m. Thursday.
Bear said he and his wife, Judy, were taking a bathroom break at a gas station while heading home to Calgary from his uncle’s funeral in Saskatchewan. That’s when he said a white man with face tattoos pulled up in a parking spot next to them.
Bear said the man, who was in a black hoodie, parked so close that his wife couldn’t open the passenger door of their Chevy Tahoe.
“He was really like mean mugging, you know, like giving a real dirty look through the window,” the 32-year-old Bear recalled.
As his wife got into the car, the man used racist language and said, “You think you can just park anywhere?” before telling them to get out of Airdrie.
Bear said they drove away, but the man followed them.
When Bear came to a stop at a red light, he said the man came out from his car carrying a baton and began to hit the passenger side of his car where his wife was sitting.
Bear said he had to jump the red light for his wife’s safety. They went around in a loop and ended up at the same stop light.
“I’m waiting there again at the red light, and then sure enough, he’s back behind us again. This time he comes running to the driver’s side trying to hit it, but before he could I pull away again,” Bear said.
The man continued following the couple so Bear decided to pull over and confront his attacker.
“I just stopped on the road there, and I was about to get out and confront him when he drove his car into the back of my truck,” Bear said.
Bear said the impact was so strong that the front of the man’s Dodge Journey crushed “just like a beer can, like mushed straight in.”
Bear said that’s when his attacker hit him on his head at least nine times with the baton.
He was treated in hospital for injuries to his head, an arm fracture and a gash on his face. His wife received whiplash from the crash. Bear said the man hit him so hard the baton eventually broke, and then police arrived at the scene.
RCMP said Monday that 27-year-old Darrian Chief of Airdrie is charged with assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Police say Chief has since been released from custody on conditions and is to appear in Airdrie Provincial Court in January.
“It’s kind of like a double whammy, right, I’m already mourning the loss of my uncle,” Bear said. “My wife is a university student and she’s doing finals now and she can’t really do her work now.”
He adds he hasn’t told their three teenage children about the attack because it’ll worry them.
“All they know is that we were in an actual car accident, that’s all they know. They’ll figure it out eventually,” Bear said.
“My wife’s very uneasy about going anywhere or even just driving.”
Bear said he is considering taking legal action against the man for the pain he caused him and his family.