Ottawa

Homicide in seniors' building has residents on edge

Residents of a city-run seniors' apartment building in Sandy Hill are on edge after discovering that a man found dead there Tuesday morning had been beaten to death and left in a pool of blood. Police are calling it Ottawa's fifth homicide of the year.
The body of homicide victim Larry Chartier is removed from the seniors' residence in Sandy Hill. ((CBC))
Residents of a city-run seniors' apartment building in Sandy Hill are on edge after discovering that a man found dead there Tuesday morning had been beaten to death and left in a pool of blood.

Police are calling it Ottawa's fifth homicide of the year.

The elderly people who live there are calling for better security at the Ottawa Community Housing building at 721 Chapel Crescent.

"Pretty scary. There is a lot of things happening around here and it's getting really scary," said resident Linda Henderson.

Neighbours identified the victim as Larry Chartier, 73, who lived on the ground floor of the building so he could get around in his wheelchair.

"He didn't deserve what he got. They're just a bunch of punks, picking on senior citizens," Arbour said.

Ottawa police are saying very little about the case until they get an autopsy report. ((Chad Pawson/CBC))
"Nobody wants to get involved, because they're too scared. It's not at their door, so they don't say nothing," he said.

The residence is owned and operated by the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation. CEO Joanne Poirier said the housing corporation has 12 full-time security officers and she's confident the tenants' safety concerns are being addressed.

"We do have a large geographical area to cover but we work in close collaboration, not only with police but also with our tenants," she said. "In some communities we have been fortunate enough to start up a neighbourhood watch program. So all of those initiatives, and having the tenants very involved, actually helps us keep our communities safe and secure."

Some neighbours described Chartier as a lonely man, someone who'd often sit outside in his wheel chair and smoke, so he could talk to people passing by.

"He's harmless, he's in a wheelchair like me, his bark is worse than his bite," said Harry McGinnis, who lived right next door to Chartier.

Not all residents agreed with that description.

"He was very annoying out here, yea, looking for drugs all the time," said a woman who did not give her name.

So far, police are saying very little about this case. 

"Post mortem autopsy will be performed later today or [Wednesday], which will give investigators a better idea of the cause of death," said Const. Alain Boucher.

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