Community gathers around Nova Scotia convenience store after landlord assaulted – Halifax

Community support is pouring in after a Nova Scotia convenience store owner ended up in hospital after a suspected attack earlier in the week.

Kamil and Silva Safatli, who have been married for 25 years, run Jake’s Variety on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth.

Early Thursday morning, as Kamil was bringing products into the store, he said a man attacked him from behind.

« He hit me on the head, pushed me to the ground and started punching me in the face, » said Kamil, who still had a visible bruise around his eye on Saturday.

Kamil and Silva Safatli are the owners of Jake’s Variety in downtown Dartmouth.

Alex Cooke/Global News

The Safatlis say the man was a regular, whom they had given free food and coffee to in the past.

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Kamil said he managed to hold the man down until the police arrived. Kamil was examined in hospital and sent home later that day.

Fortunately, he suffered no permanent damage, but he said the incident left him « very stressed » and « very scared ».

Silva, Kamil’s wife, said the attack left them in danger in their store. « I’m always stressed when I talk about it, » she said on Saturday.

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The Safatlis said this was not the first incident to happen at Jake’s Variety.

The store has been robbed three times in the past month, they said, and the couple – both from Lebanon – have also been subjected to racial slurs and harassment.

Silva said the problem had worsened in recent months and made him fear for the safety of their children, who are both in their late teens.

« It’s not just what happens to us…I’m more afraid to walk at night, » she said.

Although the family enjoys serving the community, they are tired of being afraid to go to work.

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« We have to support the children, but I don’t know what will happen in the future, » Silva said. « I don’t know if I can take it anymore. »

Kamil added, “We don’t want to be in a 24/7 stressful situation. It’s not worth the shot. »

Kamil Safatli ended up in hospital after an alleged assault at his convenience store earlier this week.

Kamil Safatli ended up in hospital after an alleged assault at his convenience store earlier this week.


Both would like to see more police patrols in the area to help curb the violence they are experiencing.

In an emailed statement, a Halifax Regional Police spokesperson confirmed officers responded to the assault at 7:40 a.m. Thursday.

« Officers have located and arrested a 58-year-old male at the scene, » the statement said. « The man has been charged with assault causing bodily harm and has appeared in court. »

The statement did not say whether police would consider increasing patrols in downtown Dartmouth.

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« Some of the most selfless people of all time »

Hannah Kersey, who lives in the area and has known the Safatlis for years, said she was « absolutely heartbroken » and « furious » to hear what had happened to Kamil.

« It hurts to know that these kinds of things happen to them, especially because they are some of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve met, and they don’t deserve this kind of treatment, » he said. she declared.

Kersey said Jake’s Variety has been a « staple » in the community for many years and the owners are always ready to step in and help when needed.

Hannah Kersey has started a GoFundMe to help the Safatlis get back on their feet.

Alex Cooke/Global News

She noted that in the days after Post-Tropical Storm Fiona cut power to the area, Jake remained open, running on a generator and giving people a place to charge their phones and grab a cup of coffee. hot.

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“They have helped so many people. Even if they barely know you, they are always ready to help you if they see you need it,” she said.

“That’s just the kind of people they are. If they see an opportunity to help another person, they are everywhere. They are some of the most selfless people of all time.

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That’s why she started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the Safatlis get back on their feet. By Saturday afternoon, he had already racked up more than $4,000 in donations.

Kersey said she was « blown away » by the support.

« It’s really heartwarming to see this community love that’s already been given, and I hope it continues to grow from there, » she said.

« I can’t even really put a dollar amount on what these guys deserve because it’s a lot. »

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Jane MacDougald, owner of the Dart Gallery next door, said the incident was « heartbreaking ».

« They are friends and neighbors, and obviously it’s very upsetting, it’s really sad, » she said. « They’re good people, and they’re so nice to everyone in the community, and they deserve better. »

She said she was happy to see so much immediate support for the couple, but added that it was important that the support continued.

« Yeah, absolutely, we want to help people when they need it…but I really hope everyone remembers that and keeps going in the future, » MacDougald said.

« That’s the most important thing you can do for a local business is to support it for the long term. »

Customers left flowers and a “get well” card for Kamil at the store.

Alex Cooke/Global News

Meanwhile, the Safatlis said they are grateful for all the love and support they have received over the past few days.

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Since the attack, customers have come to drop off flowers, chocolates and even a “healing” card for Kamil.

The support has been « awesome », he said.

« Everyone came the next day saying ‘I’m sorry to hear that, how are you feeling, anything we can do for you?' » Kamil said.

Silva also said she was encouraged by the support.

« There are still good people here, » she said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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