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Charlottetown tattoo shop owner granted conditional discharge

Donald (Artie) Gautreau, owner/operator of Extreme Ink, shows a drawing he did as a thank you to staff at the QEH in Charlottetown. Gautreau received a conditional discharge Wednesday for his part in a violent altercation Dec. 23 that resulted in part of his leg being amputated.
Donald (Artie) Gautreau, owner/operator of Extreme Ink, shows a drawing he did as a thank you to staff at the QEH in Charlottetown. Gautreau received a conditional discharge Wednesday for his part in a violent altercation Dec. 23 that resulted in part of his leg being amputated. - Jim Day

A man who had part of his leg amputated following a violent altercation in Charlottetown was granted a conditional discharge for his part in the incident.

In March, Donald (Artie) Gautreau pleaded guilty to mischief. With the plea, the Crown stayed a second charge of assault with a weapon.

The court heard Wednesday that two men showed up outside Gautreau’s tattoo parlour called Extreme Ink on Kensington Avenue in Charlottetown at about 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2018.

When Gautreau came outside of his building, a verbal dispute ensued between him and the other two men.

Gautreau sprayed cleaning solution on the pair and smashed the windshield of the vehicle the two men had drove into his business.

Gautreau, who represented himself in court, told the judge he only struck the vehicle after he felt his life was threatened.

“It happened so fast,’’ he said.

“I remember the truck coming toward me…I mean, these guys were trying to kill me.’’

Police allege one of the men pinned Gautreau against the building with a vehicle. Gautreau was taken to hospital in Halifax where part of his leg was amputated.

Sitting in his wheelchair outside the provincial courthouse, Gautreau told reporters the incident still leaves him bewildered.

“I’ve been through a lot of situations in my life,’’ he said.

“I’ve never seen anybody take a truck and drive somebody in a wall over really nothing.’’

What was the altercation over?

“I don’t know, to be honest,’’ said Gautreau.

“I think I know what it is over, but it can’t be that. I mean that’s pretty serious to try and kill somebody.’’

Gautreau added he was not surprised to receive a conditional discharge for his part in the incident.

“I think the judge seen it for what it was, and I think that he was more than fair,’’ he said.

“I mean this is what I was expecting, really.’’

Judge John Douglas took the unusual step of telling Gautreau, who was before the court for sentencing after pleading guilty to mischief, that he could change his plea to not guilty, and have a trial based on self-defence. He turned down the offer.

“No, no, no, I just wanted this over with – move on,’’ he told reporters when asked why he did not choose that option.

Gautreau, who returned to tattooing customers 60 days after his surgery, feels lucky to be alive after losing seven units of blood. He credits the medical staff in a Halifax hospital with saving his life.

He also created some impressive artwork that encompassed the symbol of medicine in a unique thank you card for the care he received at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.

“I figured it was an opportunity for me to thank them,’’ he said.

“I mean I’m an artist. It’s the best thing I could have done.’’

Artwork created by Donald (Artie) Gautreau, owner/operator of Extreme Ink, as a thank you to staff at the QEH in Charlottetown and a hospital in Halifax. Gautreau also gave a copy to EMT workers.
Artwork created by Donald (Artie) Gautreau, owner/operator of Extreme Ink, as a thank you to staff at the QEH in Charlottetown and a hospital in Halifax. Gautreau also gave a copy to EMT workers.

Riley MacFadyen has been charged with assault with a weapon for his alleged role in the incident.

Sean Michael Lombardi is facing charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Their cases are both still before the courts. 

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