The Brandon sister of a man who was set on fire outside a Thompson hotel says her brother was attacked after coming to the aid of another person.
“It’s pretty intense,” Rose Royce said in a recent interview. “I guess he was protecting some girl … these guys were beating up on a girl.”
Royce identified the burned man as her brother, Gabriel Mecas.
According to RCMP, four suspects were involved in setting Mecas’ clothes alight.
Mounties said Mecas was outside the Thompson Inn around 2 a.m. on Sept. 1 when he was sprayed with a “flammable substance” and a match was thrown at him.
That set Mecas’ clothes on fire, but one of his friends put the flames out.
Police were looking for four suspects, all described as aboriginal males, but there’s been no word of any arrests.
Royce said that her brother, who lives and works in Thompson, was out for the night with his wife. They had just had a baby and it was a rare chance to get out.
Royce said she didn’t have all the details about the attack, which happened outside a bar, but Mecas had tried to stop the suspects from beating a girl or woman.
She said Mecas “beat up” the male attackers, but they returned, doused him with lighter fluid and set it ablaze.
Mecas was left with extensive scarring all over his body, Royce said.
Mecas couldn’t be reached for comment, but summarized what happened in a Sept. 1 post on Facebook.
“So I got in a lil scuffle last night. When those punks realized they couldn’t beat me in a fight, they sprayed lighter fluid at me and tossed a match.
“I just got back from the hospital for treated first-degree burns. Face is burned, chest and arm, so basically I’m out of commission for a while, hopefully heal up soon.”
Other posts suggest that he has managed to keep his spirits up despite his injuries.
“Has anyone seen my eyebrows? I seem to have misplaced them,” Mecas jokes.
To his friends, he wrote on Sept. 5: “I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me. Helps to remind me just because I look like Freddy Krueger, people still love me like I’m Ronald McDonald.”
In a Sept. 14 post, a friend indicated Mecas has recovered well and was expected to be back at work this week.
“He’s still handsome and awesome,” she wrote.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 21, 2012