Boy, 12, accused in Brandon car theft had troubled past in Winnipeg
The boy has been on police radar in Winnipeg since he was 5
A 12-year-old boy facing criminal charges in Brandon, Man., has been on the radar of Winnipeg police since he was five, reportedly connected to a number of criminal acts including theft, arson and even a stabbing.
- Young boy's violent behaviour leaves Winnipeg police at wit's end
- Agency hopes 'intense therapeutic services' will help troubled child
The boy can't be identified because he's a minor.
Building significantly damaged
Phil Dorn is the owner of Samson Engineering, a firm in the building hit by the bus. He said his building was significantly damaged in the crash.
The business was empty at the time as the firm closes early on Fridays. He got a call from 911 dispatchers.
"Well, this probably isn't good," he said was his reaction upon listening to a message left on his phone.
Dorn said the impact of the bus compromised one of the building's concrete support columns. Two offices, including his own, were littered with debris. Support beams were installed to shore up the building shortly afterwards.
Dorn said if he had been in his office at the time, he could've been badly injured.
"If I [had been in the office and] didn't hear anything, what would have happened is I would have been impacted quite substantially by brick and debris," said Dorn.
He said the shockwave travelled though the building and was felt by staff working in a bank across the street. He said residents in an upper-floor apartment were temporarily forced out due to fears the second floor could collapse, but they've since been allowed to return.
It's the second time in a year his building has taken a hit. Last December, he said a car hit and damaged the front of the building.
"Our joke is in the office that we don't work Friday afternoons … in anticipation of events like this," said Dorn.
Bystanders chase suspect
Dennis Pozo arrived at the scene moments after the crash happened. He was on his way home when he came across the scene.
"All I saw was the kid taking off," said Pozo, who was faced with a decision: either help the passengers in the bus or chase the suspect.
Adrenaline rushing, Pozo said he and another bystander chased the boy and caught him a few blocks away.
"I was like wow … I just couldn't believe it," said Pozo. "Especially when I saw the kid … I was so shocked."
The boy has been charged with vehicle theft and a number of highway offences.
Police contact since 5 years old
Winnipeg police Insp. Kelly Dennison told CBC News in August 2016 that the force's specialized investigations division has had contact with the boy since he was five years old.
"There's no secret, this young person has been involved in criminal activity, from minor criminal activity to some very serious offences that have involved other people being very seriously injured," Insp. Dennison said.
The boy's parents have faced various charges over the years and have spent time behind bars.
At the time Billie Schibler, CEO of the Métis Child and Family Services Authority, told CBC News her agency planned to move the boy, who had been in the organization's care, into a placement with more "intense therapeutic services."
It's not clear if that placement was located in Brandon, although police described the accused as a Brandon resident in a news release on Saturday.
Schibler wouldn't update CBC News on the boy's case or status when reached by phone on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Manitoba Families Minister Scott Fielding said she would look into the case.
Last year, the minister said the province wasn't looking at developing any new policies, such as creating a secure facility to detain children under 12 so they could get help, in response to the boy's story.
With files from CBC's Caroline Barghout