This is a difficult week for people in the Peticodiac, N.B., area.
The community is mourning the death Tony Dwyer. The 54-year-old was a retired member of the Canadian navy, and died Monday from injuries sustained in an apparent altercation over the weekend on the Market Square boardwalk in Saint John.
“People can’t believe it,” said Charlene McCully, president of the Royal Canadian Legion in Petitcodiac. “(They are) wondering why it happened, how it happened.”
McCully remembers Dwyer as a happy-go-lucky character, and someone well-known in his community.
“I don’t think there’s a person in the village that didn’t know Tony,” said McCully. “(He) just loved to be with people, loved to sing. He was always happy.”
J.J. White of the Moncton area is a retired member of the Canadian army. He and Dwyer shared a love of dogs and were good friends over the last several years.
White spoke of Dwyer’s kindness and willingness to go above and beyond.
“I’ve watched him go out of his way to track down these veterans, these unheard of veterans,” said White. “He would find them, he would seek them out, he would bring them on board.”
Police say Dwyer and a 19-year-old man got into an argument at the Market Square boardwalk Friday night. Dwyer was allegedly struck and fell, hitting his head.
William Ronald Jordan is facing an assault charge, but the Crown has said they are considering more serious charges.
A bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. It is expected veterans will be in court as a show of support but there’s also a call for restraint.
“Tony’s family doesn’t need that they need the support and not confrontation about this,” said McCully.
“Let’s go in there with a clear head. Let’s not start anything but let’s defend our brother but let’s use common sense and let’s not make the situation worse.”
Dwyer’s funeral will be held Friday afternoon in Salisbury.