A Winnipeg woman who witnessed an axe attack that left a man with a serious head injury is warning the public about robberies and attempted robberies.

Winnipeg police say a man in his 30s was sent to hospital following a vicious attack in Elmwood Sunday February 4.

It happened on Mighton Avenue at the foot of the Disraeli Bridge around 10 p.m..

Const. Rob Carver said the attack was a robbery that quickly escalated. He said the victim wasn’t given a chance to respond and was sent to hospital with a serious head injury.

Carver confirmed the weapon was a hatchet, a small one-handed axe.

The woman tells CTV News the man assaulted has serious head trauma and underwent surgery on Friday to repair a fractured skull.

“If someone tries to approach or rob you, just give them what they want. Items can be replaced, but a life cannot,” she said in a phone call Sunday morning.

The woman said she’s lived in Elmwood her whole life, has never had a negative experience like this, and people in the area are shocked,

“Two individuals viciously attacked another person. They could have easily killed him,” said Carver.

“Not a high incident of crime in this area. It’s the kind of thing that’s very concerning,” he said.

The victim and suspects were not known to each other, Carver said.

Police said two boys, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old were arrested and charged with robbery, aggravated assault, possessing a weapon and carrying a weapon.

Carver said there was no mention of meth being part of the incident and the teens charged are well-known to police.

He said the boys were detained following the attack and held in custody, but couldn’t confirm if they remain in custody at this time.