Warning: Some readers may find the photos and graphic description of the attack disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Andrew Ottie says he was the victim of a savage and unprovoked attack that was so vicious his eyeball was left hanging out of its socket.
More than one month later, no arrests have been made in the incident near Penticton, B.C.
“It’s unimaginable. How could someone be that angry with someone they don’t even know?” asked Ottie.
In an interview with Global News, the 36-year-old said he was walking his dog on Peach Rock Road, a scenic private street on the Penticton Indian Band reserve when he was approached by two men.
Ottie said he conversed with the pair and they hit it off. The men invited Ottie to their home for a beer. He went and says a short time later, a third unknown assailant showed up and confronted him.
“This young fella had come inside, and he was agitated about something. And I got the brunt end of it,” Ottie said.
“I remember the fella telling me he would kill me, like trying to start a fight,” he added.
“When I went to lift a beer off the table, he said ‘You think you can just do what you want around here? Who do you think you are?'”
Ottie said the attacker one-punched him unconscious before stabbing him in the face.
“I had been kicked and beaten all over my body as well. It wasn’t just my head and face, my mouth was bleeding profusely from being punched and kicked. I guess I was in shock,” he said.
Ottie managed to drive himself to the hospital, still in shock, despite a serious injury to his right eye.
“It was hanging right out of the socket. It was resting on my cheek a little bit, because, as you can see, it was sliced completely through the eyelid and down, right to the bone. There is a slice in the bone.”
Ottie said he wasn’t sure if he was going to survive.
“I ingested some blood into my lungs and drowned for a bit,” he told Global News. “They had to put me on life support and get the blood out of my lungs so I could breathe again.”
Carly Ottie rushed to be by her brother’s side. She said she was allowed into the ER despite COVID-19 restrictions because of his life-threatening condition.
“I could still see all the blood from the door into the emergency room. The medical staff told me that he had come in with his eye hanging out and obviously in shock. He said, ‘I think I need an Advil,’” she said, choking up.
“He was beaten beyond recognition. I knew it was him, but there was only a small part on his head that was a normal size. Everywhere was swollen and he couldn’t breathe. His body was convulsing and I was watching the blood come out of his lungs and fill up container after container.”
Ottie spent five days in hospital and is still recovering from severe stab wounds.
It’s been more than one month since the savage attack, and the Ottie siblings are disturbed the suspect has not been apprehended by police.
“I want to see justice, I want to know that his case is important and it’s worth investigating,” Carly Ottie said.
Andrew Ottie said he is Indigenous, although he is not a member of the Penticton Indian Band. He questions if his race played a factor in police apathy.
“There was no press release, no information to the community. They’ve treated me life a criminal, they’ve taken my phone and they seized my truck; they said it was for evidence,” Ottie claimed.
Penticton RCMP confirmed the detachment was notified of a male victim having been admitted into hospital “with severe stab wounds” on Nov. 28.
Const. James Grandy said the RCMP’s General Investigative Section and Forensic Identification immediately took conduct of the investigation and no charges have been laid.
Investigators believe the incident was targeted and there is no reason to believe the public is at risk.
“The investigation is active and a priority for the detachment,” Grandy said in an emailed statement.
“We appreciate the victim’s family wishes for someone to be held responsible for the assault. However, in order to do this, we need to conduct a thorough and complete investigation to support the charge approval process. We are committed to taking the time necessary to ensure this investigation is done in such a manner.”
RCMP would not comment on the racial allegations.
Meanwhile, Andrew Ottie says while his scars will heal, the enduring trauma of what he experienced may not.