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A Brampton, Ont. media personality who was brutally attacked with a machete and axe in the driveway of his home has spoken out for the first time since he was ambushed.
On the morning of Aug. 4, Joti Singh Mann, a local podcast host and real estate agent, was getting into his parked Jeep when he was approached by a man wielding an axe.
Video obtained from the scene shows a suspect swinging the blade into the vehicle after Mann shut the car door.
“I was sitting in my car and when I looked to my side, they broke my window,” Mann said in an exclusive interview with CTV News Toronto Thursday.
Two other men then appeared, one armed with a machete, and attacked Mann.
Mann said he offered the group the keys to his vehicle, thinking the suspects were attempting a carjacking, but it didn’t stop them from continuing the attack.
The three suspects pulled Mann from his vehicle and brought him to the end of the driveway, continuing to assault him.
“If anyone saw that video, they would think I was not alive,” he said.
Mann revealed he was beaten with a machete and axe, pepper-sprayed, and Tasered during the attack.
“I was out of my mind,” he said, recalling the incident. “I had no idea what was happening to me.”
“They didn’t say anything to me.”
The violence only ended when Mann’s mother, Jasmail Mann, ran from her home, towards the scene, causing the attackers to flee. At 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jasmail will be honoured for her bravery at Brampton City Hall.
“I’m alive because of my mom and God,” he said.
After the attack, Mann said he observed the three men outside his home for nearly two hours. He said he assumes they were waiting for him.
At the hospital, Mann said he received surgery and more than 180 stitches. He also said he had to have a toe amputated, is dealing with nerve damage in his hand, and is tending to a number of fractures and cuts.
“One of my fingers, I can’t feel,” he said.
Joti Singh Mann speaks to CTV News Toronto on Sept. 1 (CTV News Toronto)
Mann said he’s developed post-traumatic stress disorder, has been plagued by nightmares, and does not sleep more than three hours at a time since the attack.
Before the incident, Mann did receive a threat while recording a recent episode of his podcast, Peel Regional Police confirmed. They said a safety plan was put in place, and that the threat was reported and being investigated. At this time, there police have not suggested there is a definitive connection between the threat and the attack.
While speaking to CP24 earlier in August, Brampton city councillor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon said Mann’ attack the third violent incident involving a Punjabi language media personality in Brampton in the past 12 months.
In one instance, a media host’s home was the target of gunfire. In another, suspects confronted a media host with a gun as he was leaving his studio.
“Whether you agree or disagree with them, there shouldn’t be any violence against them, so we’re hopeful there are more leads in those investigations as well,” Dhillon said.
Gormley said there are active investigations underway for all three incidents, and he did not have information to suggest Mann’s assault was tied to the earlier incidents targeting other media personalities.
He said the three suspects in Mann’s assault, which he characterized as an attempted murder, wore mostly black clothing, black gloves and surgical masks covering their faces
Meanwhile, Mann says he still has no idea why the men attacked him.
“God knows,” he said.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Janice Goulding and CP24’s Chris Herhalt.