Two in hospital following alleged baseball bat attack at Glace Bay rooming house

Sharon Montgomery-Dupe
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GLACE BAY — The front door of a York Street rooming house remained wide open Tuesday and under police guard as international student Lici Zhang spoke of a violent fight inside involving a baseball bat that sent two people to hospital with head injuries.

Lici Zhang, an international student originally of China, stands in front of the boarding house where he lives at 223 York St. in Glace Bay. A violent fight took place at the Tuesday morning and a 19-year old woman and a 19-year old man were allegedly attacked with a baseball bat. Police say charges are pending against a 32-year-old Glace Bay man.

"A man was laying on the bed not moving," said Zhang, originally of China, a second-year student at Cape Breton University, who has been living at the rooming house for about eight months.

"The girl had a lot of blood here," Zhang said rubbing his forehead.

Zhang said late Tuesday morning he was still sleeping when he heard a "very loud noise" downstairs. He said it's believed a man living in the house thought someone took his phone and wanted to check the bag of a girl living there.

He said it appeared the man had been drinking.

"His phone was lost, he wanted to check her bag," Zhang said.

"They were all arguing with each other. Police came and an ambulance came and took two people to the hospital."

At about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, members of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service responded to 223 York St. after receiving numerous 911 calls regarding a man assaulting residents with a baseball bat.

A 19-year old woman and 19-year old man were rushed to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney with serious  head injuries. The man was later airlifted to hospital in Halifax.

A 32-year old Glace Bay man — also a resident of the rooming house — was located nearby and arrested. Members of the police K-9 unit were called to the scene and located a baseball bat on MacLean Street.

Police spokeswoman Desiree Vassallo says members of the major crime unit are investigating, with assistance from the forensic identification unit. She said the apartment building remained secured Tuesday while police prepared to execute a search warrant.

Zhang said police were actually at the rooming house three times Monday night and there was a lot of yelling and fighting going on each time.

"I was sleeping (Monday night) ... heard sounds downstairs of people arguing with each other," he said.

He said it is believed a man living downstairs broke the door of another man living upstairs. There are four bedrooms rooms upstairs and one downstairs.

"People were trying to calm them down and called police," he said.

"That was the second time police were here."

Zhang said the accused and injured people are not international students.

Despite what happened, Zhang said he's not afraid living there.

"There have always been good guys here. I don't know their background but do get along well together, respect each other and sometimes share some things.

"It's a peaceful house, no fights or arguing before."

Two international students living in an apartment building next door were aware of the incident.

The students, who wished to not be identified, said they had friends living in the building in question.

"We just heard there was some people fighting," one said.

He said when the fight broke out Tuesday, they were sleeping.

"The police came," he said.

"Our friends are OK. We don't know the people who were injured."

Reg Clark, who lives about five doors down, didn't hear the commotion Tuesday. Clark has lived on the street about ten years.

“It’s a quiet street — this is very surprising.”

Organizations: Cape Breton University, Cape Breton Regional Police Service, Cape Breton Regional Hospital

Geographic location: Glace Bay, China, York Sydney Halifax MacLean Street

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