The elderly mother of a well-known Brampton real estate agent and media personality, who saved her son from a brutal attack by three masked men in front of their home in August, has received an award for bravery from the city.
Mayor Patrick Brown said Jasmail Kaur Mann's heroism "puts everyone else to shame," and that's why city council unanimously passed a motion to honour her and "to celebrate this moment of courage."
"I think she showed courage and bravery and an example of being a local hero," Brown said during the award ceremony Thursday at Brampton city council.
Joti Singh Mann — a host with Fateh Media 5, which broadcasts in Punjabi on radio and YouTube — was left with life-altering injuries in what police said was a targeted attack on Aug. 4. Three masked men wielding a machete and an axe attacked him after he got into his car in the area of Mayfield Road and Hurontario Street at about 8:15 a.m.
Brown said after people found out about the attack, council members and people in the community all talked about what "this remarkable senior citizen" did.
Brown said he put the motion forward to council, which led to the city's first ever bravery award.
"You see three guys with weapons like that, and obviously, she's frail. It could have been a very horrifying event for her own safety," Brown said.
"I just think it speaks to a moment of remarkable courage to run out in the face of machetes like that with no fear, just love," he added.
"There's something beautiful about that bond between a mother and a son."
Family remains fearful
Speaking through an interpreter — Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton North — Mann said she went to the kitchen to put away a cup when she saw the attackers in the driveway.
She said she went outside and told them that she had already called the police and they were on their way.
She also found her son's shoe, which she threw at the masked men, but she believes they got scared after hearing she had called the police.
Following the attack, Brampton Coun.Gurpreet Dhillon told CBC Toronto it happened three days after Joti Singh Mann received a threatening phone call.
Police are still trying to find the assailants, and there's no word from police about a motive for the attack.
Mann's mother said whenever she remembers the attack it still brings tears to her eyes, adding that she wants the attackers to be found and for justice to be served.
"Who are those people that could be so inhumane that were cutting up [my] son as if he were a tree or some object and not a human being?" she asked.
"[I] just want those people to be brought to justice."
Sahota said the family wants to stay in their home but they remain fearful.
"Some have advised them to move but they love their home, they want to stay in their home but there is fear that they still feel," she said.
"Even the grandchildren — the sons of the victim — they're very afraid, they're very afraid after the incident happened."
'They changed my life,' victim says
Meanwhile, after nearly a month in the hospital, Joti Singh Mann returned home on Aug. 28.
He said he's "happy to be alive today" but still has severe pain in his feet.
"[In] a few seconds they changed my life … I lost my big toe, so much injuries and almost more than 180 stitches on my whole body," he said.
"[From] the 4th of August to now, I sleep only three to four hours in night time and when I sleep there are so many nightmares. So, I think they changed my life. I don't know why they changed my life, maybe God knows."
Mann said he believes if the attackers had just a few more seconds, he would have been killed.
"My mom, she gave me second breath, she's so strong and [a] brave mother for me," he said.
"Otherwise, how they attacked on me, I don't think I'd survive."