Man with North Andover ties ordered extradited to Quebec to face charges in ’09 attack on doorman

A man who appeared in two Hollywood blockbusters filmed in Massachusetts was ordered extradited Friday from Boston to Canada to face charges stemming from a brutal 2009 attack on a doorman outside a nightclub in Quebec.

A federal judge in Boston ordered that Ziad Akl, 40, be sent to Laval, Quebec, to face assault charges stemming from the melee, according to authorities and court records.

Akl was arrested Wednesday and waived his right to contest extradition, records show.

Laval police confirmed that Akl is the actor with distinctive facial tatoos who appeared in “The Fighter,” an acclaimed biopic of Lowell boxer Micky Ward, and “Shutter Island,” a thriller based on a novel by Boston native Dennis Lehane.


Akl’s lawyer at Friday’s hearing did not respond to inquiries.

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According to court records, Akl was with a large group of armed men who confronted doormen outside the Red Lite Afterhours club in Laval, Quebec, shortly before 4 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2009. The doormen were trying to keep the group from entering the club.

Another assailant stabbed one of the doormen three times, and Akl and his brother allegedly kicked the worker in the head and body, court records show. The doorman survived the attack.

About an hour prior to the alleged assault, records show, an unidentified man had refused to pay the cover charge at the club and said he was with “the gang of ‘Ti-Bob.’ ” He was denied entry and called “the so-called ‘Ti-Bob’ ” on his cellphone, legal filings show.

Moments later, the group of men pulled up to the club in six vehicles and exited the cars with brass knuckles, knives, a bat, and a pistol, according to court records. The men began to push their way into the club, prompting the altercation that led to the stabbing.

Nathalie Lorrain, a Laval police spokeswoman, said Akl and his brother were suspected of “trying to take control of drug trafficking” inside the club, which closed several months ago. She said club managers were “trying to keep [the establishment] as clean as they could.”

Lorrain said Akl, his brother, and father have all had prior encounters with police.

“They were known to us very well for this kind of thing,” Lorrain said.


Akl, crossed the border three days after the alleged attack and has lived in Dracut and North Andover and also worked at a gas station in Salem, N.H., according to Canadian and US authorities.

The owner of the gas station, Christian Vargas, 30, spoke highly of Akl Friday.

“He was a really good person,” Vargas said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Vargas said Akl has not worked at the gas station recently.

Court records indicate he was still working there in 2013.

It was not clear when Akl, who is being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., will be brought to Canada.

Travis Andersen can be reached at