By Jonathan Riley DIGBY COURIER
LEQUILLE- Ryan Taylor has been beaten up physically and emotionally.
Ryan Taylor, an avid hiker and caver, was beaten so badly on the weekend he can barely walk with the aid of a walking pole.
Courtesy of Ryan Taylor
Two men he has known for 20 years hit him with a rifle butt, punched him and kicked him in his own driveway in Lequille, Saturday night, Dec. 7.
“The top of my head, right side has no feeling at all,” he told the Courier on Thursday, Dec. 12. “Speaking only comes when I close my eyes to focus. Walking is now a shuffle aided by a walking pole.”
Taylor, an avid hiker and caver, was packing up his car with a headlamp about 7:30 Saturday night for a hike the next day when two men drove up from behind his house on a four-wheeler.
They told him to turn off his flashlight because they were hunting deer.
They were dressed in camo, carrying flashlights and one had a hunting rifle.
Taylor told them they shouldn’t be hunting so near to houses anyway and then as he went to get in his car, one of them hit over the head with the rifle.
Taylor tried to fight back with a stick of firewood but the men continued to beat him until the gun went off.
Taylor, laying on the ground bleeding, thought he had been shot.
The men took off after that and Taylor crawled into the house and called 911.
Taylor was treated at Soldier’s Memorial Hospital in Middleton for a large gash on top of his head resulting from multiple blows to his head.
The RCMP went looking for the suspects but didn’t find them that night.
Trevor Durling, 33 and Matthew Fredericks, 31, both of Annapolis County, turned themselves in the next day.
Both have been charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. Durling is facing two additional charges of breaching conditions of a court recognizance.
Both have appeared in court and have been released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court in Annapolis Royal on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Taylor says his nerves are shot.
“It has been difficult, knowing those guys are out of jail is a nightmare,” he said. “I can’t sleep.”
He is scared to go outside and scared of loud noises.
“Anytime something makes a loud noise, the feeling almost drops me to the floor,” he said.
Taylor is thankful for the support of the community who have gathered round, keeping him company and keeping his thoughts off his ordeal.
Taylor says he can't wait to get caving again. "Or maybe a hike in the woods, doesn't matter,” he said. “It will be just what I need, nature and fresh cold air. I know some peaceful spots."