Comox renters allege assault by manager

A Comox resident alleges his commonlaw spouse was assaulted by their apartment manager after a dispute over repairs to their rental unit.

A Comox resident alleges his common law spouse was assaulted by their apartment manager following a dispute over repairs to their rental unit.

Barry Welsh, Ashley Shea and their two young children have lived in the unit about 18 months. Last weekend, they stayed at a hotel after discovering mold underneath the carpet.

“They weren’t really resolving the issue,” Welsh said. “They pulled up the carpet, they pulled up the underlay and then they  just left it.”

The couple tried unsuccessfully to call the manager Friday and Saturday, then called the property management company in Vancouver. The manager later called and was, according to Welsh, rude with Shea over the phone.

While the children were with a babysitter, the couple came home Saturday night to retrieve clothes and other items. Shortly after 11 p.m., noticing a light inside the manager’s residence, Shea decided to knock on the door and ask the man when they could move back.

“I guess he was upset because we’d gone to his bosses,” Welsh said. “We were trying to explain what was going on and then he grabs her by the throat, puts her in like a chokehold. He’s thrashing her around, hits her head against the door. Her glasses break, and he just throws her out by her neck.”

Welsh called the RCMP, who continue to investigate the incident. Shea was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s General Hospital. She suffered bruising around her neck.

The manager declined to comment.

Afterwards, the couple left a message with the management company to complain about the treatment they received. Welsh says Shea was treated rudely over the phone when their call was returned Tuesday and was told they might be evicted from the premises.

Which leaves the couple shrugging their shoulders.

“Never been a noise complaint, always paid rent on time or before, always kept the house in good repair,” Welsh said.

A call to the management company was not returned.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com