MACCAN – The family knows who attacked them. They think they do, anyway.
A Maccan household is still recovering from an attack Friday night that left sore bodies and sour feelings towards police.
“I am bruised from head to toe,” said Gloria LeBlanc, a senior with serious health problems, including a brain tumour, COPD and diabetes.
The attack came in the early hours of Saturday morning. Some time after 1 a.m., there was banging at the front door of the modest home on Hillside Drive. LeBlanc lives there with her husband Roy, who suffers from cancer, her daughter Cathy Burbine, and Burbine’s son – LeBlanc’s grandson – Matthew.
It was Matthew who opened the front door, after looking outside and seeing no one on the front step.
A security light should have been triggered by the late night callers but when Matthew stepped further outside to try and get it to activate, he claimed, is when the assailants jumped him.
According to the family’s story, in the ensuing melee, Matthew’s mother intervened, grabbing hold of a large, stout stick held by one of the attackers. An attempt by the grandmother, Gloria, to use her cane to intervene in the scuffle failed.
“I was hurt bad,” said the 69-year old.
She had dark bruises on her arm and low on her hip. A small shiner coloured her grandson’s left eyelid.
The attackers were forced from the front porch, according to Matthew. The resident retreated to the house and closed the door. They waited for police, 911 having been called. A final salvo from the assailants: a child’s bike was thrown against a small kitchen window
The LeBlancs and Burbines are pretty sure they know who visited their house.
“They are drug addicts,” said the grandmother.
Three possible suspects were named to this newspaper.
The police response, according to the family’s version, fell short of what they hoped.
LeBlanc claimed RCMP showed little interest in the crime scene.
“Aren’t you going to take any evidence?” she quoted herself saying.
Evidence of possible interest, according to the occupants, included boot prints, the thrown bicycle and the large stick, which they managed to retain.
History may be playing a role in the weekend’s events. Matthew has a troubled past but said he’s been clean for two years. At least one of the people he thinks may have been involved, he alleged, was involved in a break and enter at his apartment when he lived in Amherst.
The attack may been aimed at Burbine, he said. LeBlanc said pain medication or pension cheques may have been a target.
The family may pick up stakes and move. LeBlanc said she’s never broken the law, and her husband was in the army.
The Cumberland District RCMP is asking any person with information on this incident to contact them or crime stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). A press release from the police said no serious injuries were reported to police in this incident.
“The homeowners defended their property,” said Const. Travise Dow. “Anyone is allowed to defend themselves.”
Dow said that, while there are clearly exceptions, under the extraordinary circumstances facing the victim of a home invasion, residents can use reasonable force to retrieve property from the arms of robbers still in the domicile, for example, and can use reasonable physical force to eject trespassers.
A late call asking for an RCMP response to the victims’ allegations of subpar conduct by the force did not receive a response by press time.
This story is an update of ‘Burglars kicked out of Maccan home’, published online July 2.