12/30/11 : Ex-girlfriend among those detained for robbing and beating up World Series of Poker champion
The Canadian Press reports that a former girlfriend is among four people arrested in connection with the robbery and beating of world poker champion Jonathan Duhamel during a burglary at his Quebec home recently.
Montreal police say two men and one woman were charged late Wednesday in connection with the case and a fourth person, a man, was arrested Thursday and faces similar charges.
Among those charged was Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, a 20-year-old woman who briefly dated Duhamel a few months ago, according to Duhamel's agent, Philippe Jette. "She is the only one of the four suspects that Jonathan knew."
Duhamel became internationally known in 2010 when he won US$8.9 million in the WSOP main event last year; he was the first Canadian to capture the title.
During the home invasion and robbery on December 21, Duhamel's championship bracelet and a high-end Rolex watch given to him as a present were stolen, along with cash. During the incident Duhamel was tied up and beaten so severely that he needed hospital treatment, although he was not detained.
Police revealed Thursday that they were able to find only the Rolex. Police spokesmen said that tip-offs began pouring in after the home invasion, and after the posting of a reward by Duhamel himself last week. He offered up to $10,000 for information leading to the recovery of his possessions, or to the arrests of those responsible.
"Investigators received information from the public and with this information we were able to make an arrest," said Longueuil police Constable Mark David. "During the investigation, the Rolex watch was seized but we're still looking for the bracelet he received for the poker championship."
Rojas-Latraverse was the first person arrested Saturday, on Christmas Eve. She faces five charges, including conspiracy.
John Stephan Clark Lemay, 22, and Andre-Robert Perron, 26, were arrested in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, in western Montreal on Monday night
The three appeared in court Wednesday to face a variety of charges that included breaking and entering, armed robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and receiving stolen goods.
A fourth person, a 20-year-old man, was arrested early Thursday and was also charged in the attack.
The police confirmed that Duhamel didn't know either of the actual intruders who burst into his home and attacked him.
"The two individuals that went to his home that day — Mr. Duhamel did not know these people," Constable David said.
Jette said a decision on the reward would be made after a review of the information and the person who supplied it.
Seth Palansky, the media director for the World Series of Poker, says that if Duhamel is unable to recover his champion's bracelet, the company will offer him a new one.
"The tournament director, Mitch Garber, contacted Jonathan after the incident and informed him that the bracelet can be replaced as needed," Palansky said.