A Mount Royal University student and the former captain of its hockey team has been charged in a brutal attack on an MRU professor after a break-in at her Calgary home last weekend, CBC News has learned.
Originally from Truro, N.S., Matthew Brown, 26, is facing charges of assault with a weapon and break-and-enter after a faculty member was brutalized with a broom handle, according to sources. The business student, who used to play in the QMJHL, is currently suspended and not allowed on campus, according to the university.
The victim, who is in her mid-60s, has a broken hand, requires surgery and also suffered torn tendons and severe bruising.
Naked man broke into home
"[She] is understandably terrified and it will take a long time for her to get over this trauma," said a family spokesperson. "It's affecting every aspect of her life."
CBC News has agreed not to name the victim, who fears for her safety.
The woman lives in the community of Springbank Hill in southwest Calgary. Her family says the suspect had been at a nearby party.
The victim woke from a deep sleep after what sounded like an explosion, which was her glass door being smashed. She got up to investigate and was immediately attacked by a naked man who hit her repeatedly with a broom handle.
"It was very violent," said one of the woman's family members.
She was able to lock herself in the bathroom and then fled to a neighbour's house where they let her in and called 911.
The family has been told police believe the suspect may have been on drugs at the time of the attack.
Banned from campus
The Mount Royal connection "appears to be a coincidence" the university claimed in an email to staff, which says there is no indication the two had ever met or that the attack was targeted.
"Our first and foremost concern is for the well-being of the victim, who was injured and is now at home recuperating," reads the email.
Brown is suspended "and will not be permitted on campus or at MRU events during the course of the suspension," according to an email sent to all university staff.
The family points out the victim "dedicated her life to Mount Royal students." She is off work for at least the rest of the semester while she recovers.
The family has thanked Mount Royal colleagues and faculty for the "heartwarming" outpouring of support they've received since the attack.
Brown captain of Mount Royal team
Brown began playing on the Mount Royal team in 2012 and was captain from 2014 until last year.
Before arriving in Calgary, Brown — who is six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds — played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), first with the Moncton Wildcats from 2008 to 2010 and then with the Quebec Remparts, where he was "brought up under the wing of legendary NHL Hall-of-Famer goalie, Patrick Roy," according to a profile written on Brown last year in the Calgary Journal.
Brown has been released on bail.