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'Just outrageous': Saturday hammer attack fifth 'random attack' since end of April
WINNIPEG -- A violent attack in the middle of the day Saturday, in Winnipeg’s North End, sent a 15-year-old to hospital with what police are calling life-altering injuries.
At 11:30 a.m., Winnipeg police responded to a report of a man who had been assaulted in the 500 block of Selkirk Avenue.
Once on scene, officers found a 15-year-old boy on the sidewalk suffering from serious head trauma. He was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Police say the boy was attacked with a hammer, and the incident was random and unprovoked.
“It’s just outrageous, it’s not needed, no violence,” said Dakota Grozell who is friends with the victim and was there moments after the attack happened.
Grozell said he flagged down police after finding the boy laying down on the ground.
“We just kept talking to him to make sure he didn’t fall asleep or pass away,” said Grozell.
A GROWING NUMBER OF RANDOM ATTACKS
“It certainly appears unprovoked, early indications are as well random, and so yeah five horrifically violent incidents,” said Const. Rob Carver of the Winnipeg Police Service, in an interview with CTV News.
This latest incident on Selkirk Avenue is the fifth since the end of April — which police confirm are ‘random attacks”.
On April 29, a man was arrested after he was allegedly swinging a chainsaw at people.
On May 2, two people were sent to hospital after a pair of attacks downtown involving a hammer.
On May 17, a man was stabbed on Selkirk Avenue after refusing to buy meth.
On May 24, a man died after being stabbed on a Winnipeg Transit bus.
“When it’s random, it impacts us because I think the obvious question is, could that have been me or someone I know,” said Carver.
“There’s a different level of personal concern and fear.”
Police say, although there is no underlying factor that connects the incidents or explains why they’re happening, meth is a growing problem in the city, and in some cases, it has played a role.
“We know there’s an inherent connection between level of violence, and unpredictable violence in the city and methamphetamine use,” said Carver.
The latest incident on Selkirk Avenue has taken a toll on people who live and work nearby.
“Things have always happened around here, but not in broad daylight, with people walking,” said Ghassan Tasse who worked across the street from where the incident happened.
“That’s pretty deadly, for a young guy like that to get assaulted on Selkirk like it’s so busy, you think you’d be safe,” said Farren Simpson who lives nearby.
Police have not made an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information regarding this assault is asked to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).