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Winnipeg man pleads guilty for role in stabbing on Canada Day

The stabbing took place on July 1, 2022 in the area of The Forks. The stabbing took place on July 1, 2022 in the area of The Forks.
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A Winnipeg man is pleading guilty for the role he played in a stabbing on Canada Day last year that sent a Ukrainian man to hospital.

Tyson Cole Bechard was in court Wednesday and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault.

The court heard the incident unfolded the evening of July 1, 2022, when two Ukrainian refugees, who had recently settled in Winnipeg, were walking near The Forks at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Crown attorney Melissa Schrader told the court that while the pair were walking, one of them bumped into Bechard's group of four, apologized and then kept walking.

Schrader said Bechard's group was yelling at the two men and ran across the road and confronted them.

At that point, Schrader said, one of the people in Bechard's group used bear spray, which hit the victim in the face.

"He went to the ground covering his face and responded to the initial assault by asking, 'What is wrong? I don't understand. Stop,'" said Schrader.

Schrader told the court that while the man was on the ground, another person who was part of Bechard's group pulled out a knife and stabbed the man in the neck and Bechard punched the man in the head at least two times.

Schrader said the victim was pleading with the group, "Comrades, I'm from Ukraine. I'm from Ukraine."

After hearing that, Schrader said, one of the people in the group shook hands with the two Ukrainians, apologized and then the four fled from the area.

The victim was taken to hospital and required surgery for his injuries. He was released from hospital on July 6.

Schrader said Bechard's group was seen on security camera boarding a bus and the bus camera recorded the group talking about what happened, including Bechard saying he punched the guy in the head.

On July 20, Bechard was arrested.

On Wednesday, he told the provincial court judge that he was pleading guilty because, "I want to own up to what I did."

Bechard will be sentenced at a later date. The charges against the others involved have not been proven in court.

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