North Battleford woman turns to Facebook to find alleged attacker
Man charged went off electronic monitoring, arrested in Calgary after Facebook post
A battered woman was so anxious to see her alleged attacker captured she put her story out on Facebook.
She even posted a photo of her battered face, one eye blackened and swollen shut.
"I acted out of desperation," said Kendra Weenie. "I had to do something to get him caught."
My baby was only 8 days old when this happened. He held her in his arms while he beat me and kicked me until almost unconscious. He was drunk and on drugs at the time and also threatened to kill me or get people he knew to kill me.- From Kendra Weenie's Facebook status update
Christopher Passley had been out on bail — and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Then he dropped out of sight.
The assault happened Aug.17 in North Battleford, where Passley and Weenie had been living together. Their baby daughter was just eight days old.
In her Facebook posting, Weenie alleged Passley assaulted her while holding their baby, kicking her "until almost unconscious," and giving her a concussion. She also alleged Passley threatened to kill her.
Weenie said Passley was under court order not to contact her or their baby.
Bail conditions breached
Just past midnight on Sept. 26, Passley's stepsister, Joyce Sealey, tried to have him arrested for breaching his bail conditions, one of which was not to consume alcohol. Sealey said he offered her rum, so she called the police.
A cruiser came by their home, but police found no evidence he had been drinking. So officers left without arresting him.
"We would have needed her sworn statement that she did in fact see him consuming alcohol," said Alyson Edwards, director of public affairs for the Saskatoon Police Service. "And she was not able to provide us with that because she did not see him consuming it."
Later that same day, Passley failed to show up for a meeting with his probation officer. Saskatoon police were notified. They got a warrant and patrol officers were told to look for him.
"What I was told was that if they did happen to meet up with him they would arrest him but in the meantime, they weren't going to be looking for him," Weenie said. "That's not the response I wanted to hear. And I was really upset. And I really felt anxious."
But Alyson Edwards said Saskatoon Police Service was looking for him.
Weenie said her anxiety grew even more when she received an e-mail from Passley saying he was coming to see the baby.
"He knew where I was at that time," said Weenie. "I got freaked out and I immediately packed up and left my home at the time. And that evening I spoke with my brother and I was telling him how scared I was and we both agreed that that would be probably the right thing to do at that time in order to expose him, get people to see what he looks like so that hopefully someone would call the police and he'd get put back in jail."
But it brought no results. Weenie even got a few messages from people questioning her story.
So on Oct. 15, she took the bold step of adding a close-up of her bruised and swollen face.
"And I thought if people don't believe this I don't know what they're going to believe," she said. "I don't know what more I can do."
The next day Calgary police arrested Passley. Weenie said she got a call from victim services telling her that Passley's employer saw the Facebook post and turned him in. The police only confirm they got a call from a member of the public about a person wanted in Saskatoon.
Too distraught to seek help
Sharon Cunningham is executive director of Interval House, a women's shelter in Saskatoon. She says, in her experience, police do their jobs.
She also wishes Weenie had turned to her organization instead of Facebook.
Never, ever. First of all, they're not on key with the rest of how we expect behaviours to be if they're going to viciously assault.- Sharon Cunningham, executive director of Interval House, on whether someone charged with a violent assault should be out on electronic monitoring
"There seems to be some kind of a stigma sometimes to go into a shelter," Cunningham said. "And family support, albeit it's wonderful, but there is no educational capacity there. There is no sitting across the table from another woman who has been abused having a cup of coffee and knowing exactly what's happened to each other and sharing. And safety, it's safe here. Very, very safe in this house. And if not here, then we whisk them to a safer place."
Weenie said she knew about the places that help assault victims, but was distraught and not thinking clearly due to her concussion. She just wanted to stay home, take care of her baby and not go anywhere.
Cunningham also said no one charged with a violent assault should be let out on electronic monitoring.
"Never, ever," she said. "First of all, they're not on key with the rest of how we expect behaviours to be if they're going to viciously assault."
Passley, meanwhile, remains in custody pending a bail hearing set for Nov. 5 in North Battleford.
The Crown prosecutor is opposing his release and it's up to him to persuade a judge he should be let out again while the charges against him are dealt with.