A 71-year-old Winnipeg newspaper carrier is thankful to be alive after being robbed and attacked with a hammer while on the job over the weekend.

Michael Dixon was delivering papers early Saturday morning in River Heights near the corner of Grosvenor and Wentworth avenues when he said he was approached by a younger male suspect who wanted to take his van.

Dixon said the incident unfolded quickly and his instinct was to resist.

“At the time, I didn’t have any time to think,” the former businessman told CTV Winnipeg Monday. “I had to defend myself.”

Dixon said he ended up entwined with the suspect. At one point, the suspect took a swing with the hammer which got caught behind the suspect’s knee.

“It’s a funny thing. You don’t think about what you’re doing until it’s over,” said Dixon. “I don’t want to give the impression I was looking for a fight.”

Dixon said he was hit with a hammer once on his back side, followed by a second, more serious blow to his ear. After the hit to his ear, he said the suspect managed to get inside his van and drive away.

Dixon said apart from some bruised ribs and stitches he is okay, but dealing with the emotional aftermath of the incident has been difficult.

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Dixon said he picked up a shift delivering Winnipeg Free Press newspapers for a friend the morning of the robbery.

Winnipeg police said the robbery and attack was random. The van was recovered, but officers continue to look for two suspects.

“It’s gut-wrenching when someone is viciously attacked, really for nothing,” said Const. Rob Carver Sunday.

Dixon said looking back on the incident, he’s thankful he wasn’t more seriously hurt. He hopes police are able to track down the suspect or suspects involved.

“You don’t think I’m an old man and he’s a young man. I’m surprised as anybody else,” said Dixon.


“We’re definitely concerned for the health and well-being of our carriers,” said Rick Swiergosz, distribution manager for the Winnipeg Free Press in a phone call with CTV Winnipeg Monday.

He said in the past 12 months, there have been two other incidents where carriers had property stolen. In one case a carrier left the vehicle running when he went into a store. The other carrier had a wallet taken. In both cases those cases, Swiergosz said no one was hurt. He said there has never been an incident in the Grosvenor Avenue-Stafford Street area.

Swiergosz met with Dixon in person Monday morning. He said carriers working in higher risk areas are allowed to deliver papers later in the morning for better safety.

Winnipeg police described one suspect as white, in his late teens, with a stocky build. A second suspect is described as white, in his late teens with a thinner build.

Members of the Major Crimes Unit are investigating.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.