MANDEL: Sagittarius who intimidated attorney in tow truck wars gets 12 years

The GTA lawyer, who worked on insurance against tow truck and body shop operators, had to close his office and leave the country because of threats

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Civil litigator Lisa Carr was forced to close her practice and flee the country after York Regional Police told her they could not protect her.

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She got caught in the middle of the tow truck wars.

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Carr’s customers were insurance companies fed up with tow truck operators and their partner body shops charging exorbitant impound, sham repair, and storage fees. A court decision published in Newmarket last week offers disturbing details of how a solicitor just doing her job nearly lost her life.

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The reign of brazen intimidation began one night November 2018 when someone smashed the front window of the empty Carr Law Firm in a Vaughan plaza and set fire to a small tree in the lobby. In January 2019, security videos showed a man smashing the front door window, throwing in gas canisters and calmly tossing in a match.

It seems their enemies thought the two firebombings weren’t enough for Carr to get the message. In August 2019, the threats against the lawyer became even more direct.

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days later Carr Law appeared in court on behalf of an insurance company suing a certain tow truck operator, a vehicle pulled up next to Carrs and opened fire. The gun was loaded, but it jammed. The crime became known on September 10, 2019, when police found cell phone video of the incident and Thomas Sliwinski was later charged with attempted murder.

The pace of violence against Mrs. Carr accelerated,” said Supreme Court Justice Michelle Fuerst in the recent decision.

It was just before 1 p.m. on August 29, 2019, and a female employee resembling Carr was sitting in her car outside the law firm when Qalid Abderezak walked over to her open window and pointed a gun at her.

“You’re suing the wrong people,” he told the attorney.

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“Do you want to have children? do you wanna grow old Then stop suing my friend.”

Abderezak cocked the gun, she said, and asked for her wallet.

“That’s your only warning,” he told her before fleeing in a white Volvo.

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On September 6, Abderezak received a text message about the need to finish the job: “We need to spice up the place because we’re not getting the right one.”

The “right one” was, of course, Carr. She was in her office just after 5 p.m. that Friday afternoon when the same gunman parked in front of Carr Law in the busy square and fired seven bullets at the office’s front door. He then drove away in the Volvo.

“Anyone who left the office could have been shot at any time,” Carr told attorney KR Davidson Canadian Justice.

“The scariest thing is that my receptionist was sitting at the front desk right outside this door. She was right in the line of those shots.”

The judge said it was “just a matter of luck” that no one was injured or killed.

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Carr had recently put special glass on the doors.

“Police said it could have saved (the receptionist’s) life because it slowed the bullets,” she told Davidson.

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An image released by York Regional Police on 6 September 2019 of a suspect in an alleged gun crime involving a Vaughan law firm.
An image released by York Regional Police on 6 September 2019 of a suspect in an alleged gun crime involving a Vaughan law firm.

The following week, they warned her that a credible threat to her life still existed.

“You are not safe and must go,” she was told.

Abderezak, then 24, was arrested after various people – including his brother – identified him from security video. He eventually pleaded guilty to four counts, including robbery with a restricted firearm and intentionally firing a restricted firearm Carr law firm.

Fürst sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

“All too often, lawyers work in conflict and stressful situations. But this work should never put her or those who work for her at risk of personal harm,” the judge said. “In this case, the legitimate work of a lawyer did just that.”

Not surprising, Abderezak was outside the law firm on bail and condition of no restricted weapons at the time of the two incidents. The weapon was not found.

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