Accused in random assaults had been released days earlier – Winnipeg Free Press

A man accused of two random, unprovoked assaults on Princess Street in late March had been released from custody 10 days prior, after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer.

The 31-year-old was charged last week with assault causing bodily harm and assault.

Winnipeg police were called to Seven Oaks General Hospital for a report of a man who had been assaulted at Pacific Avenue and Princess Street, around 8 a.m. March 30.

The 56-year-old was hit in the upper body “without provocation” and fell to the sidewalk before a passerby took him to the hospital, police said in April. The suspect also attacked a second victim.

Police arrested the suspect after he was spotted “harassing pedestrians” downtown April 26. He was due in bail court Monday.

On March 20, provincial court Judge Michael Clark heard the accused had sought a spot at the Behavioural Health Foundation’s in-patient rehabilitation facility or to non-profit Morberg House, but neither had room for him ahead of his release on the assault peace officer charge.

Court heard his offending in general was tied to an issue with drinking, which he had tried to address in a drug treatment program in Headingley jail during a previous sentence.

He was found guilty of the assault after a trial — committed in a holding cell at Winnipeg Police Service headquarters in April 2022 — but was granted release considering the 17 days he had spent in custody, enhanced to count for 25 1/2 days, a review of his sentencing hearing shows.

Clark said the man was causing a commotion in the holding cell at about 11:15 p.m. April 24, punching and kicking the walls and door.