Dominican Republic attacks could happen anywhere, says Manitoban shot 10 times
A Manitoba man who was shot two years ago during a break-in at his apartment complex in the Dominican Republic says such incidents can happen anywhere.
Les Lehmann, 66, spoke about the attack on him after a 75-year-old man from Lac du Bonnet, Man., was robbed and found dead in the Caribbean country last week.
“It was something that happened that’s not going to happen again. That was always my attitude. It doesn’t matter where you go,” said Lehmann, 66, a Canadian with permanent residency in the Dominican Republic who carries permanent injuries from the 2014 attack.
“I don’t live in fear. If it had happened in Winnipeg, what would I do? Leave Winnipeg? Move where? You can always have a home invasion or a break-in any place in the world.”
Lehmann manages an apartment complex in Puerto Plata. In 2014, he tried to fight off thieves who broke in a day after a group of Manitoba students had arrived for a humanitarian project.
The students and their chaperones, who were unhurt, returned to Manitoba the next day.
Several Canadians have been attacked in the Dominican Republic in recent years.
Leo Frank Boulanger was found dead on April 5 in an apartment he had rented for three months with his Dominican girlfriend in the beach town of Sosúa, about 25 kilometres east of Puerto Plata along the Dominican Republic’s northern coast.
Police said two local men who were arrested on April 6 had Boulanger’s cellphone and other belongings and confessed to killing him in the course of robbing him and trying to get his bank code.
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“It’s usually older men who are sort of at risk,” said Lehmann.
“They’re living the fun life here and they don’t realize that all these Dominicans who are very nice to them and treat them so great, they still look at you as a very wealthy person,” he said. “At times they make plans to extract [money] from you and sometimes those plans go wrong and somebody gets hurt.”
Lehmann said after the attack at his apartment complex, he had 10 bullet holes in his body. His arm was broken, a nerve in his arm was cut and his knee was shattered.
He still has a limp, his knee doesn’t bend all the way and his left pinky finger doesn’t move well.
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“Even 30 seconds after it happened, as I was laying there, I thought, ‘You are one lucky person, because you’re going to walk away from this,’” he said.
Since the incident, he has turned a chain-link fence on one side of his property to a 10-foot concrete wall.
“Over the seven or eight years that I had that chain-link fence, it had been breached four or five different times, where I’d get up in the morning and something was missing,” he said.
But the incident and others in the area aren’t enough to stop Lehmann from going to the Dominican Republic.
“Like I say to people, I never was a great guitar player and now I even care less that I’m not a great guitar player, because I can still play the guitar,” he said with a laugh.
April 14, 2016
Category: DR News |