January 17, 2019 8:55 am
Updated: January 17, 2019 1:10 pm

Toronto lawyer violently assaulted on New Year’s Day recovering, police still searching for suspects

WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. A video shared with Global News appears to show a violent assault on Queen Street West early Tuesday morning.


Toronto police say Toronto lawyer David Shellnutt, who was violently assaulted on New Year’s Day is recovering but that his two assailants are still on the loose.

In a press conference on Thursday morning, Det. Scott Allan said Shellnutt, who was in a coma until Jan. 14, was “walking and talking.”

Story continues below

Police released more surveillance video of the attack, including a clearer picture of what took place leading up to and during the incident, as well as more in-depth descriptions of the two male suspects and vehicle.

READ MORE: Police identify man critically injured after early morning assault in downtown Toronto

Allan said Shellnutt was walking along Queen Street West with a female companion on Jan. 1 at 12:30 a.m. when he got into an altercation with two men.

He said the men had been driving past Shellnutt in a newer model blue Dodge Charger, when they yelled a “lewd” remark at the woman.

In the surveillance video, it appears that Shellnutt proceeded to pick up a large garbage bag from the side of the road and throw it at the Charger as it drove away.

The two men then appear to get out of the vehicle and get into an altercation with Shellnutt.

READ MORE: Man wanted by Toronto police after threats allegedly made with sledgehammer, random assault

Allan said one male suspect struck Shellnutt on the left side of his head, which caused him to go “rigid and fall backwards onto the concrete, striking his head” and becoming unconscious.

“The second male approached Shellnut and strikes him again on the left side of his face, driving his head back into the concrete again,” he said.

Both males then fled the scene on foot and got back into the same Charger with a third male occupant who was driving, Allan said.

Allan said the vehicle then drove off southbound on Bathurst Street and eventually made a left onto Adelaide Street.

VIDEO: Toronto police say a man was critically injured following an assault on Queen Street West near Bathurst Street

In a message posted on a GoFundMe page on Monday, the victim said he is walking now but still in pain.

“It is becoming clear that though I’m progressing well it will be a long road of recovery and rehabilitation,” Shellnutt wrote.

The vehicle is believed to be a B5 blue 2019 Dodge Charger SXT. Police cannot confirm the licence plate but said it was an Ontario one. They also said it could be a rental vehicle.

The Dodge Charger that Toronto police are searching for in connection with a violent assault.

Toronto police handouts

The first suspect is described as being between the ages of 25 to 35, six-foot-one, with a medium build, dark brown hair worn in corn rows and a pencil beard. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a grey coat over a black hooded top, black pants or jeans with tears on the front of the legs, white socks and black running shoes with blue soles.

The second suspect is described as being between the ages of 25 to 35, five-foot-nine, with a medium build, short dark brown receding hair, a goatee and a mustache. At the time, he was wearing eyeglasses, a black waist-length coat over a black hooded top, medium blue jeans with tears on the front of the legs and light/navy blue running shoes with white soles.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

Police release images of two suspects wanted in an assault on Queen Street West on Jan. 1, 2019.

Toronto Police Service


— With a file from Nick Westoll

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.