A young Alberta husband remains unconscious and on life support after a brutal beating that occurred on Thursday when he tried to defend a 10-year-old boy who was getting bullied.
John St. Jean was playing a board game with his wife, Dawn MacKay, late Thursday night right up until he suddenly stood up and announced that he had to leave. St. Jean had arranged to purchase a ring for her and had planned to meet the seller in the parking lot of a convenience store a few minutes from their house.
"I said 'What are you talking about, it's 9:15 at night. Come on, sit down, I'm going to kick your butt at Yahtzee and that's all there is to it," MacKay told CBC Edmonton.
He left at approximately 9:15, and did not answer any of the text messages that Dawn had sent. When she received a phone call at 11:30, it was a police officer who explained that St. Jean had been involved in an “altercation." The officer asked MacKay for his medical history, to which she replied "ask him yourself, and he'll tell you. He knows his medical history," MacKay recalls. "And there was kind of dead air and she said 'he's in a coma.'"
According to CBC News Edmonton, St. Jean allegedly came across a man who appeared to be picking a fight with a young boy. At some point, MacKay was told, the man hurled a racial slur at the boy.
"John really doesn't tolerate that kind of [thing]," she said. "Someone's got to protect the underdog."
St. Jean reportedly stepped in between the fight to break it up, giving the boy a chance to get away. As St. Jean walked away towards the store, he was attacked from behind.
"He just got him on the ground, got him on the ground. And he curb stomped him," MacKay said.
He was rushed to University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton and remains on life support. Staff at the hospital have attempted to wake him up several times, but to no avail.
"He's still fighting. He's waking up halfway, and then fighting — like, flailing his arms," MacKay said.
"They tried again this morning to wake him, and it took three nurses and one nurse on top of him to hold him down," she added.
"I just want him to wake up," MacKay said. "I just want to know that he's still in there."
CBC Edmonton notes that police have been unable to confirm certain details from MacKay's story. They say that when they arrived, there was no boy and it was unclear how the fight started or who started it.
A Facebook page has been created titled “Grande Prairie supports John Stjean,” and is being updated daily by St. Jean's son, Dakota MacKay.
"They were gonna try and wake him up but now due to an unexpected blood infection they will not be trying to wake him up and will be waiting until the antibiotics are in his system and working before anymore attempts to wake him," a post on the page states. They have even created a gofundme page that has already raised $10,007 out of the initial goal of $4,000.
Although it is an ongoing investigation, Kyle Douglas Giroux, 24, has been charged with aggravated assault and one count of failure to comply with a probation order. He is scheduled to appear in Grande Prairie Provincial Court on Wednesday.
Sources: CBC News Edmonton, Edmonton Sun, Facebook, Gofundme
Photo Source: Facebook