'A brutal, brutal attack'

Gualtieri family challenges those involved to 'come forward'

Paul Morse
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Sep 15, 2007)

It was a fight that had terrible consequences.

Duane Davies says he was with his Uncle Sam Gualtieri when the Caledonia builder was injured in a clash with native protesters Thursday.

In an interview, Davies said he, Gualtieri and two others were checking on the home when they saw a protester standing on the front porch.

"They started to heckle us, saying, 'If you want a piece of this, come in here,'" said Davies.

The four went into the home and Gualtieri ordered the protesters out. Davies says he didn't see who threw the first punch, but described Gualtieri struggling with one person while the others squared off.

The 33-year-old said he and a cousin left the house to grab two-by-fours and started back in to discover Gualtieri lying on the floor as he was struck with a piece of wood. Davies said he screamed to natives outside the house for help and the attackers fled.

Native protesters tell a different story. They say the builder and his companions entered the house and attacked them.

They say the protesters were only defending themselves.

Police say they are still investigating the incident.

Whichever way it went, Gualtieri's family vows it won't rest until the people responsible are brought to justice.

Gualtieri, 52, was beaten unconscious inside one of two homes he was building for his daughters in the Stirling South subdivision.

"This was a brutal, brutal attack," said brother Joe Gualtieri. "Our family will not let this go."

Sam was transferred to Hamilton General Hospital yesterday afternoon where he remains semi-conscious in serious condition.

Michelle Gualtieri, 24, was shocked when she arrived at the hospital and saw her father.

"My dad looked horrible," she said yesterday in a coffee shop alongside her two sisters.

"He was crying, which he never does, his chest was heaving, tears running down his face from the pain," while fading in and out of consciousness.

Late yesterday, he underwent further testing for brain damage.

Eldest daughter Adrienne Morgan, 27, said she is not angry at Six Nations for the clash that landed her father in hospital.

But she's demanding that the community's leaders turn over the attackers to police.

"I'm not holding it against the whole native community ... but they have to take responsibility for their own," she said.

Morgan blames the provincial and federal governments for creating what she calls two sets of rules.

"I'm disgusted with Premier Dalton McGuinty, he's passing the buck," she said.

"If he wants to be the premier, he has to show some leadership."

Joe Gualtieri challenged those involved to step forward.

"I just hope the individuals who did this attack, if they are as proud a nation as they say they are, come forward and face the consequences of their action."