Edmonton police are investigating after a city man accused of driving into a restaurant patio and killing a toddler while allegedly drunk was abducted and beaten.
Richard Alan Suter, 64, was taken from his home about 11 p.m. Thursday and "seriously assaulted" and is now in hospital being treated for his injuries, said defence lawyer Dino Bottos, who visited him at the hospital Friday. A photo obtained by the Sun shows Suter's left thumb was removed in the attack.
"It was a very serious assault." said Bottos, adding, "I can confirm that he was abducted from his home." Bottos, who is representing Suter on his upcoming trial for impaired driving causing death, three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusing to provide a breath sample, also would not comment on whether he believed the attack was linked to the case.
City police would only say they are investigating the "alleged abduction and subsequent release" of a man in southwest Edmonton and that officers responded to the incident and a man was taken to hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries.
Police also asked anyone with information about the incident to contact police or CrimeStoppers.
Suter recently scheduled a jury trial in Court of Queen's Bench to run from Oct. 5 to Nov. 6.
He is charged in the May 19, 2013, death of two year old Geo Mounsef.
Police have said they believe Suter had been having an argument with his spouse when he got into a blue Acura SUV parked in front of the patio at Ric's Grill at 23 Avenue and Rabbit Hill Road just before 8 p.m.
But, instead of putting the SUV into reverse, he put it in drive and climbed over the curb, drove through the railing and pinned the toddler against the wall, said police.
The boy was rushed to hospital where he died later from his injuries. Two other family members were injured as well as a waitress.
At Suter's previous court appearances, there have been issues regarding the victim's family.
At a Provincial Court ruling ordering Suter to stand trial following a preliminary hearing, the victim's mother, Sage Morin, and his father, George Mounsef, were asked to leave the courtroom as they are witnesses in the case and there was a witness exclusion order in place.
However, just before leaving, Mounsef stood directly behind Suter and waited until the accused turned and looked at him and then gave him a lengthy stare.
At the beginning of the preliminary hearing, the judge issued a stern warning saying that no courtroom outbursts would be tolerated, including heavy sighs and head shaking, and offenders would be forcibly removed.
At a May 24, 2013, hearing where Suter was released on bail, the victim's father stood and launched a profanity laced tirade against the accused and several others yelled out comments about the decision to grant bail.
There have also been several incidents at the courthouse where sheriffs were called to escort Bottos from courtrooms because he and other lawyers were being yelled at.