A man who went to Mark Twitchell’s rented garage a week before police allege he killed Johnny Altinger at that spot told the jury his own harrowing story of survival this morning.
Gilles Tetreault testified he went to the southside garage on Oct. 3, 2008 after arranging a date through the online dating site plentyoffish.com with a woman he thought was named Sheena.
He said the woman invited him on a date and provided directions to her house, but refused to provide a phone number or specific address. He said he was told to come to the garage and go through it to the house.
Tetreault said when he came through the door, he was attacked suddenly by a man in a hockey mask who put him in a bear hug while prodding him repeatedly with something that made a loud noise and emitted blue light.
He said he initially thought it might be some kind of weird joke but then began to believe he was being mugged or attacked.
“Right then and there is when I obviously figured out this was no date.”
He said he pulled the baton away and held onto it, adding it was more of an annoyance than painful. He said the man then produced a gun, which he held at him and threatened to use. He said he complied with his attacker’s demands. The attacker put tape over his eyes and ordered him to the ground.
He said when he saw the handcuffs he became convinced the man was more than a mugger and he decided to fight back. Tetreault said he grabbed the gun, initially only wanting to position it away from him, but then he realized it was not real.
“I tell my friends it was the best feeling I ever had,” Tetreault told the jury.
After an intense struggle, Tetreault said he eventually left the garage, running outside and into a path where he found a couple walking their dog. He said after that the man briefly pursued him, but when he saw the couple the man turned back into the garage.