The past caregiver of a Whitehorse man with dementia is wondering why the man is in trouble with the law and says jail is not the place for him.

Titus Charlie, 53, is charged with assault and resisting arrest for an incident that occurred outside the Salvation Army shelter on Dec. 24.

The charges concern David Hedmann, who has known Charlie for 15 years.

David Hedmann

David Hedmann has known Titus Charlie for 15 years and worked as his caregiver for four years. (CBC)

"He has dementia — it's a health issue, it's not a justice issue," said Hedmann. 

Charlie has a lengthy criminal record that includes sexual assault, but in 2008 and again in 2011 he was deemed unfit to stand trial by the Yukon Review Board. 

Assessments of Charlie state that he has irreparable brain damage and dementia fuelled by alcohol abuse. 

'Jail is not an option'

Hedmann, who worked as Charlie's caregiver for four years before Charlie was moved to a group home in 2012, said Charlie requires 24-hour care, and wonders why he was unsupervised on Christmas Eve. 

"He's got a history of violence, so both Titus and the community are at risk with him being at large," Hedmann said. 

"But jail is not an option because he's not criminally responsible."

Hedmann said he was shocked when heard Charlie had been kicked out of his group home.

River View Hotel

Management at the River View Hotel in Whitehorse confirmed that Titus Charlie was staying there in the couple of weeks leading up to his Dec. 24 arrest.

The River View Hotel confirmed that Charlie was staying there prior to his arrest. Hotel management said he arrived independently. 

Charlie is scheduled to appear in court today. 

CBC left a message for Charlie at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre but did not get a response.