Sharif Rahman, restaurant owner beaten in Owen Sound over unpaid dining bill, dies in London hospital

The 44-year-old owner of an Owen Sound, Ont., restaurant who was in critical condition after a beating outside his restaurant in what police say was a dispute over an unpaid bill has died in a London hospital. 

Sharif Rahman died Thursday. According to Owen Sound police, Rahman was attacked by three male patrons who visited his restaurant, The Curry House, in the heart of the city on Aug. 17. Police were still trying to locate the suspects Friday.

Mark Barbosa, a local Realtor and a friend of the Rahman family, announced the death on Friday morning on the web page for an online fundraiser. 

Image released by police shows one of three suspects running from the scene of an incident that left Rahman in a London hospital. (Owen Sound Police Service)

Police said Rahman and his nephew became embroiled in a dispute with the suspects on the sidewalk outside his restaurant over an unpaid bill, and things turned violent. 

Rahman was seriously injured and sent to hospital, where he was put on life-support. 

Rahman called ‘loving and peaceful’

“With a heavy heart, we want to update that our brother Sharif has passed away,” Barbosa wrote on the page for the fundraiser aimed at helping the family. “Your generosity and support will never be forgotten and will truly help his family transition through this difficult time.

“We should always remember how loving and peaceful Sharif was, and use that as an inspiration in our own lives to strive to be kind towards [sic] those we meet in life.”

Flowers and messages at the door of a restaurant
A makeshift shrine as well as messages of support and love have appeared on the doorstep of The Curry House since Rahman was beaten Aug. 17. (Facebook)

Calls to Barbosa by CBC News were not immediately returned Friday. The online fundraiser had raised $147,970 as of Friday afternoon. Investigators with the Owen Sound Police Service had yet to confirm Rahman’s death. 

Police looking for suspects

On Thursday, police released images of two suspects and a vehicle — they were seen leaving the scene of the incident on Aug. 17. The suspects ran southbound on 2nd Avenue East towards 9th Street, where they continued eastbound on 9th Street East, police said. 

A vehicle driving away
Police said Thursday this vehicle was seen leaving the scene of the attack in front of The Curry House in downtown Owen Sound. (Owen Sound Police Service)

The two suspects are believed to be in their mid-20s to mid-30s, police said.

They described the first suspect as:

  • White, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2, with a medium build and short, dark hair. He was wearing a light blue T-shirt, black shorts and black running shoes at the time of the attack. 

The second suspect is described as:

  • White, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2, with a medium build and short, brown hair that’s longer on the top. He was wearing an orange T-shirt, black shorts and black running shoes.
Images of men running, blue shirt on the left, orange shirt on the right
Owen Sound police released these images of two suspects leaving the scene of the attack. (Owen Sound Police Service)

The third suspect is described as:

  • White, with curly hair, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and likely in his late 40s to mid-50s.

Police said the vehicle in question appears grey or blue, and is an early 2000s model Ford Escape or Mazda Tribute. 

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