No sooner do we read what happened than we’re fed a mouthful of “the Serbs made him do it”:

Moncton teen gets 18 months for shooting during dispute over stolen bike

The Canadian Press | Amherst Daily News | June 24, 2009

MONCTON — A Moncton couple was looking for answers about their son’s stolen bicycle when they knocked on a door in their neighbourhood.

Instead, they found themselves staring down the barrel of a sawed-off rifle and fleeing for their safety as a shot was fired.

CUE MUSIC:

The gunman was a 22-year-old man who grew up in Bosnia and Kosovo during war time and saw terrible things happen before escaping with his family to Canada in 2000.

“He witnessed atrocities during the war we can’t begin to imagine,” defence lawyer Tracy Bock told a judge Tuesday, adding it was common for young teenaged boys in Kosovo to arm themselves to protect their family. [Hmm, funny how there are virtually no Serbs left in Kosovo yet every fifth Kosovo student is armed.]

Sanell Gutic was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in jail for his actions on May 22, 2008. He earlier pleaded guilty to uttering threats, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a firearm without a licence.

Crown prosecutor Michel O. LeBlanc told the court the incident originated the previous day when Derek and Jaimie Bulmer’s son had his bicycle stolen. On May 22, they saw another child riding what appeared to be the bike and they asked him where he got it. He pointed them to a residence and said he got it out of the backyard.

The couple knocked on the door of the home and a teenager answered. When they told him why they were there, the teen got upset, claiming they were calling him a thief.

“I’m going to get a gun and shoot you,” he said.

LeBlanc said the couple told him they just wanted information about what happened to the bike, but the teen pulled a knife.

The Crown said Derek Bulmer went to his car and was on his way back to the house with a baseball bat when Gutic came out of the house with a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle. The Crown, reading from the statement the couple gave police, said they ran towards the car.

“His gun got stuck or something and it gave us an extra couple of seconds,” LeBlanc read. “As he shot the gun, we sped away.”

LeBlanc said the Bulmers told police they heard a shot fired, but the vehicle wasn’t hit.

LeBlanc, pointing out Gutic was awaiting trial on an assault charge at the time of the incident, asked for two years in prison.

Bock told the court his client has had a difficult life, both in Bosnia and in Moncton. Gutic is the oldest of four boys and he and his family fled Bosnia during the war in the 1990s.

“They feared for their lives,” said the lawyer. “The family spent time hiding in the forest, in a hole in the ground.” [Hmm, that forest bit sounds familiar.]

They eventually came to Canada and became permanent residents. The parents eventually separated, ending a relationship plagued by domestic violence. [Gee, that’s not typical for Bosnian, Albanian or Muslim folks, is it?]

Bock said it was tough for Gutic to adapt to life here, especially since he spoke little English. [He only knew how to say, “I’m going to get a gun and shoot you.”] The family also endured harassment and hostility from a group of skinheads in their neighbourhood because of their ethnicity, a claim the Crown did not dispute.

You’ve gotta love it. A nice North American couple thinking they can just knock on a door to settle a dispute about a bicycle — not realizing that the Balkans have been happily imported into their neighborhoods. We’re not in Kansas anymore, North America.

Coming soon:

“I cheated on my husband.”

“Why?”

“I was affected by the carnage of wartorn Bosnia. All those disconnected body parts strewn about. Not really knowing which parts belonged to whom…”

“And you say now that your husband is trying to kill you?”

“Yes.”

“Why would he go that far?”

“He was very much affected by the violence of wartorn Bosnia.”

Right now it sounds like a far-fetched joke. But give it 14 months.