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Assault victim warns others to stay vigilant on dating sites

Warning about online dating after brutal attack on a Vancouver Island woman
ABOVE: Despite efforts to screen her new beau for red flags, a Victoria woman didn’t find any until it was too late. As Kylie Stanton reports, the woman was brutally attacked and is now warning others about how dangerous online dating can be.

A Victoria woman is warning others about the dangers of online dating after a brutal attack left her bloodied and bruised.

Theandra Holtby, 27, had been dating a man for a couple of weeks.  They had initially met over Facebook and had also made a connection on a popular online dating site. But on Oct. 26, when she decided to end the relationship, she had no idea she would end up the victim of an aggravated assault.

“He didn’t drink, he didn’t do drugs, he had a job. He was very polite,” said Holtby.  “He had everybody fooled.”

Dillon Brisebois has now been charged with aggravated assault, but up until this incident, he had no criminal record in B.C.

That’s not the case in Ontario, where reports show Brisebois was Sudbury’s “Fugitive of the Week” six years ago.

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There, he has faced charges of drug possession, theft and breach of probation. Then in 2014, when he and his girlfriend got into an argument, police records show he punched her in the stomach. He pleaded guilty to assault and breach of probation.

According to the Sudbury Star, his defence lawyer Jacob Gautier said: “The argument was over finances and stress over finances.  There are young children involved [in the relationship]. He has suffered from addiction issues. He plans to move to British Columbia to live with his father … He is looking for a fresh start.”

Holtby claims despite her efforts to look for any red flags on the dating site, she didn’t find any.

“There should’ve been a warning … Something like that, anything like that.”

Instead, Holtby is taking it upon herself to warn others.  Knowing if someone else had done the same, she may have been better able to protect herself.

“Maybe I would’ve known to stay clear,” she said. “Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

Brisebois is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

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