A Cobourg man says he was knocked unconscious in a unprovoked attack after coming home for lunch on Friday, September 22, 2023.
Thirty-nine-year-old James Briscoe who has lived at 17 Chapel Street most of his life said he arrived at his home shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday.
Briscoe parked his pickup on the road and started walking up his driveway.
There were a number of people on both sides of the road on the grass which isn’t uncommon as Transition House is directly across the road from Briscoe’s house.
Briscoe said some of the people were yelling, but he didn’t pay any attention to what, or who they were yelling at.
But he did hear one person yell and it sounded like the person was in close proximity.
“When I turned around and there was one standing behind me. I told him to get off my property, and he proceeded to punch me in the mouth and knocked me out.”
Unconscious, Briscoe collapsed to the ground striking his head off of the pavement.
Briscoe doesn’t remember how long he was unconscious for, but when woke up, he managed to get to his house to call for help, but his phoned had died.
He went to the neighbours home and they were able to call for help.
Briscoe said there were upwards of 15 people in the general vicinity and not one person rendered aid to the unconscious father of three (ages 17, 13 and 10-years-old).
“Nobody came over to help.”
Living in the family home since he was six-years-old, Briscoe said everything changed when Transition House started.
“I think it’s horrible what’s happening to our town.”
“It’s violence and people are being attacked for no reason. People are afraid to go out – people are afraid to go downtown.”
Briscoe’s children don’t want to leave the house.
Briscoe suffered injuries to his mouth, nose, forehead and near his eye. In total approximately 20 stitches.
“I don’t know what to do.”
“We tried calling the police over, and over and over – they do their best but they just keep coming back and it seems like there is more of them everytime.”
As much as he feels for individuals who are suffering and trying their best to improve their situation, there are others who take advantage of the system.
“There are people who are just trying to get their lives together, or they’ve come across a bad time – we’ve really not had a lot of problems. This is the first physical altercation that’s happened to us.”
After living in the same house for 32-years, Briscoe said, “I’m scared for my family. I’m scared for my kids and my wife because I can’t be here all the time. I have to go to work.”
“They come home before I do, so there is no telling what could happen.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Travis Watts of Port Hope is charged with assault of Briscoe and mischief.
The mischief charge stems from at approximately 7:15 a.m., police responded to a damage to property call at a residence in the north end of Cobourg. The caller reported that an individual was recorded on CCTV camera slashing the tires on their truck sometime overnight. Police identified the suspect and opened an investigation.
The accused was held in custody for a bail hearing.