Egan: Hammer attack victim finds new job, thanks Citizen readers

Press Report

Catalogue of news sources updated continuously

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+


17 February 2017 18:55:49 Ottawa Citizen - News

It's been a great week for Nabute Ghebrehiwet, who lost an eye in a vicious hammer attack on Dec. 9, 2014, then lost his job, then nearly lost his home. He's found full-time work. Ghebrehiwet, 55, started Monday as an accounting clerk at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. "Very grateful," he said Friday. Importantly, the steady income will allow him to keep his $940-a-month apartment on Somerset Street — his home for six years — and stop the drain on his savings. When his story was told in the Citizen just before Christmas, readers responded with overwhelming generosity, donating money and gift cards to help him survive. Ghebrehiwet was out for a walk outside his apartment that fateful evening when he was attacked by a mentally ill stranger on the sidewalk. The blows left him blind in his left eye, facially scarred and off work for months. In March 2016, for reasons apparently unconnected to the injury, he was laid off from his $55,000-a-year job at the Canada Revenue Agency. He spent the rest of the year without an income, burning through his savings and trying unsuccessfully to get a rent reduction from Ottawa Community Housing. As if to add to his dismay, the attacker, Jeffrey Weber, 33, was found not criminally responsible for the assault on Sept. 29, 2016, the fourth time this kind of ruling was delivered to the schizophrenic man. He was assigned to a secure unit at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre in Brockville. Ghebrehiwet, meanwhile, was somewhat the forgotten man. While he has thanked many donors personally, he did want to pass along his gratitude to readers who sent along donations, ideas and best wishes. To his credit, he did not turn bitter. "I am not discouraged yet," he said in mid-December. "I was in shock for a long time. But time has taken care a little bit of that now. They say time heals everything. Maybe that's why." Full article on Egan: Hammer attack victim finds new job, thanks Citizen readers

Vice null Time17 February 2017 18:55:49


Egan: 'He saw his father kill his mother' — a hammer attacker's childhood

0.8595098 22 December 2016 23:45:52 Ottawa Citizen - News

Citizen readers have been touchingly responsive to the plight of Nabute Ghebrehiwet, 55, who lost an eye in a hammer attack on Dec. 9, 2014. Just as he was getting his life back together and returning to the Canada Revenue Agency, he was laid off in March. While still hoping for a call-back to his $55,000-a-year job, he is increasingly worried about finances and maintaining his apartment, at $940 a month. So he needs a break, either with a job or subsidy from Ottawa Community Housing. Emails have poured in to help the single man, as have phone calls, to the point that — can't lie at Christmas — I got little else done Wednesday and Thursday. You runneth over. What a thing is human frailty, as this case dramatically illustrates. On Dec. 12, the Ontario Review Board released a decision about the attacker, Jeffrey Weber, 33, a schizophrenic man who was found not criminally responsible for the assault. In a way, Ghebrehiwet is lucky to be alive. On that December day, Weber, in the midst of psychotic episode, had walked into a nearby grocery store and bought the hammer and a large knife. He was hearing voices and looking to harm a "non-Caucasian," the evidence showed. He stepped out onto Somerset Street sidewalk, there was Ghebrehiwet having a smoke. "The victim's injuries could have been much worse," the board reported, "if not for Mr. Weber's inability to open the packaging of the meat cleaver he had intended on using for his attack." (Saved by stubborn hard-plastic packaging, can you imagine?) Inasmuch as Ghebrehiwet is an admirable immigrant success, Weber's personal history could hardly be more horrendous. As a toddler, one of three children, he witnessed his father kill his mother, the report says. There followed stays in foster homes, where he endured abuse, including sexual. When he turned 18, he joined the Canadian Forces, but that didn't work out. There was cannabis and hashish abuse and binge drinking. His adult criminal record began at age 18 and, two years later, he was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He speaks of the internal voices as "frequencies," and has claimed to be a descendant of Hitler. And so, with small exceptions, there has hardly been a time in his life when he wasn't in one kind of state care or supervision. While kept in a secure unit at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre after the attack, he was under the care of a psychiatrist, taking Clozapine and undergoing one-on-one cognitive behaviour therapy with a psychologist, but with limited success. It is distressing to read how one human being, despite the efforts of our finest medical minds, can be so troubled. "(Psychiatrist) Dr. Joel Watts acknowledged that Mr. Weber has never been completely free of symptoms, particularly hallucinations, that he has not always been forthcoming about his symptoms, and that he has occasionally been subject to command hallucinations," the review board heard. "Mr. Weber can act out on these delusions, as was the case with the most recent index offences. He attacked a black man, and this was directly related to the delusions that he was experiencing. Mr. Weber has acted out violently against persons of colour on at least three occasions and this is acknowledged to be in relation to his delusions." The hospital's assessment had other alarming entries. "Mr. Weber’s violent behaviours over the years have also included verbal threats and an attempted kidnapping of a minor. His violent behaviour has been directed over the years at psychiatric staff, other patients and complete strangers." Unlike those convicted of crimes, people found not criminally responsible are not punished with imprisonment but treated in hospitals for their condition. Periodically their cases are reviewed, with an eye to eventual release into the community. (Witness the killer of CJOH broadcaster Brian Smith, and the man who beheaded a bus passenger in Manitoba.) Weber, in fact — already with three NCR findings — was living outside the hospital when the hammer attack occurred. The board decided he still poses a risk to the community and transferred him to the Royal's Brockville Mental Health Centre, where he will be treated in a secure setting. It is funny, in a way, that both men wake up this Christmas season encircled by people trying their best to help them. So we count our blessings, one by one — in a world both mad and beautiful. Hold tight and Merry Christmas. To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email

Vice null Time22 December 2016 23:45:52

New jobs and alluring offices in the works — thanks to basement brainstorm

0.61393553 22 April 2016 15:31:34 Brampton-News (from

A Mississauga man who started a multi-million dollar software company in his basement now plans to develop it into an iconic Canadian brand akin to Blackberry and Nortel.

Vice null Time22 April 2016 15:31:34

Refugees find ‘new family' at first Canadian jobs

0.61393553 01 March 2016 20:54:15 Brampton-News (from

On any given day, when shoppers walk into Adonis Supermarket, they will likely be greeted by a recently arrived Syrian refugee.

Vice Alle News Time01 March 2016 20:54:15

Alta. woman accused of murdering mother says victim attacked her with hammer first

0.6073893 25 February 2016 04:42:32 The Province - News

The woman tearfully told jurors that she wrestled the hammer away from her mother in the kitchen and then struck her with it in the head "quite firmly."

Vice Alle News Time25 February 2016 04:42:32

Tories vow to help new Canadians find jobs

0.49114847 27 August 2015 17:25:28 Brampton-News (from

Harper vows to boost program to help new Canadians find work in their field

Vice null Time27 August 2015 17:25:28

Tories vow to help new Canadians find jobs

0.49114847 27 August 2015 16:25:14 Durham Region-News (from

Harper vows to boost program to help new Canadians find work in their field

Vice null Time27 August 2015 16:25:14

Airdrie man attacked with a hammer

0.4898417 17 February 2015 19:10:37 News Stories

An Airdrie man was attacked with pepper spray and a hammer in the early morning of Feb. 12 in the area of Woodside.

Vice Alle News Time17 February 2015 19:10:37

Man charged in Ottawa hammer attack

0.47409403 15 December 2014 14:47:49 Simcoe County-News (from

Man charged with aggravated assault in connection with Ottawa hammer attack

Vice null Time15 December 2014 14:47:49

Hells Angel associate skipped bat, hammer attack because victim died too fast: judge

0.45439515 23 September 2014 02:36:52 Vancouver Sun - News

The only reason a Hells Angel associate couldn't get more involved in the beating death of Dain Phillips is because his biker pals killed Phillips so quickly, a B.C. Supreme Court judge said Monday.

Vice Alle News Time23 September 2014 02:36:52

Windsor hammer attack victim dies; Son charged with first degree murder

0.45439515 09 July 2014 21:22:04 Vancouver Sun - News

The elderly Windsor woman who was beaten with a hammer last month has died, resulting in an upgraded charge against her alleged assailant — her son.

Vice Alle News Time09 July 2014 21:22:04