Single punch in back-lane dispute is fatal

A 66-year-old man was killed by a single punch in an altercation in a Tyndall Park back lane. 

Calvin Chan, 66, was 'a good neighbour' but did have issues with other neighbours

A 66-year-old man is dead after a dispute with a neighbour in this back lane, behind Burrows Avenue off Albina Way. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

A 66-year-old man was killed by a single punch in an altercation in a Tyndall Park back lane, police say.

Police were called to Burrows Avenue and Albina Way around noon on Saturday, where they found Calvin Chan. He was taken to hospital in critical condition but died a short time later.

Police arrested Dennis Penner Jr., 24, in a nearby home and have charged him with manslaughter.

Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray says people have to understand the danger of a single punch.

"This one feels especially senseless. It easily could have been prevented. Ultimately, this incident occurred as a result of somebody who couldn't wait for a boat to be backed into a garage," Murray said.

Murray says Penner was trying to drive through the back lane. There had been a longstanding dispute between the neighbours, and the argument escalated.

Chan's friend and roommate, Ai Ing Poh, who owns the house on Burrows Avenue where Chan had lived off and on for decades, ran out of the house when a third neighbour who was involved came to get her.

"He was lying down in the back lane … bleeding out from his mouth," she said. She said she grabbed tissues to wipe his mouth while they waited for the ambulance.

"He's a good person," Poh said. But she says there was tension between the two homes."We never did get along with that family. Since they moved in, I don't know, we just did not hit it off."

Chan was trying to pull this boat into this garage Saturday when the altercation happened. Poh said police later finished pulling it into her garage. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Poh said Chan, who was a retired golf course superintendent, had just retrieved his fishing boat for the summer.

"This fishing boat brings us bad luck," Poh said. "Somehow, it [wouldn't] quite fit in. And that's why everything happened, just like that. I just cannot believe it."

"He was a really good neighbour," said Rudy Cabato. "It's so sad … I'm going to miss him."

He said Chan had previously had a stroke, and he and another neighbour would help him with shovelling and spend time together.

But Cabato said while Chan was close with some neighbours, he did have arguments with other neighbours, occasionally about a parking spot on Albina Way next to his house, where he liked to park his truck.
Neighbour Rudy Cabato said Chan liked to park his truck in a particular spot on Albina Way and had arguments with some neighbours about it. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

"It happens, it happens. Don't get mad. Just let it go," Cabato said. "If there's some issue, just say sorry, or talk to them nicely. But, I understand him, he's a bit of a — some people have a bit of a habit of being like that, you can't change them right away." 

Neighbour Rudy Cabato said Chan was 'a good neighbour' but did have arguments with other neighbours. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

He said for decades it's been a quiet, safe area, but a few other recent crimes — including a car being burned and break-ins on Albina Way — have him considering moving outside of the city to be closer to his daughter.

A third neighbour, across the back lane from Poh's home, was there during the incident, police said. He declined to comment.

Murray says it's Winnipeg's 15th homicide of the year.

"You look at what the ramifications of this are, it's devastating consequences not only for the victim — the family, friends, people who were there but now you have a 24-year-old male who wasn't previously known to police facing a charge of manslaughter."

A 66-year-old man was killed by a single punch in an altercation in a Tyndall Park back lane. 2:16