Pedestrian struck by vehicle then beaten near Lavigne


Two West Nipissing men are in police custody and facing attempted murder and other charges after striking a pedestrian with a vehicle and then assaulting him in the middle of the night on Highway 64 near Lavigne. The incident occurred around 2:30 am on October 16 and led to the highway being closed for several hours for what first appeared to be just a hit and run but turned out to be much worse.

West Nipissing’s OPP detachment responded to a 9-1-1 call at approximately 2:30 am, when it was reported that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. However, upon investigating, police determined that the pedestrian was subsequently assaulted by the occupants of the vehicle and the attack was targeted. The attackers left the scene prior to police arriving. The victim was transported to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, and the highway was closed for 3 hours while officers investigated the scene.

Police then went on the hunt for the suspects, who were apprehended October 18 and 19, according to Provincial Constable Rob Lewis, Community Safety and Media Relations Officer with the Nipissing West OPP Detachment. Both Michael-John Hilton, age 40, and Tylor Merrigan, age 28, were charged with Attempt to Commit Murder, Uttering Threats to Cause death or Bodily Harm, Assault with a Weapon and Assault Causing Bodily Harm. The victim was not identified and the motive was not revealed.

The Tribune asked for further details, but Constable Lewis said OPP couldn’t release much more due to confidentiality regarding their operations and to protect the victim. However, he did confirm that the victim and the accused were known to each other and wanted to reassure residents that this was an isolated event.

After an October 21 court appearance, Hilton is still in custody and scheduled to reappear for video remand on October 26. Merrigan is also in custody and set to appear in court October 26. 

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