'Keep the peace:' Alberta reserve worried after band member charged with attack
25 year-old woman randomly attacked, sexually assaulted
The chief and council of a southern Alberta reserve were meeting Tuesday with the mayor of Lethbridge to discuss fears of a public backlash following the arrest of one of its members for a horrific attack on a woman in the city.
Blood Tribe spokesman Rick Tailfeathers said the meeting with Mayor Chris Spearman was to get a dialogue going after Lethbridge police charged a man with attempted murder last week.
Police have said the woman was randomly attacked while walking to work. She was struck with a weapon then dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted.
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The 25-year-old was in a medically-induced coma to help control bleeding in her brain and also has extensive head injuries. Police said the scene was one of the worst they have ever come across.
Denzel Dre Colton Bird, 20, also faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and break and enter.
Bird has been identified as a resident of the reserve. The Blood Tribe issued a statement on the weekend regarding the attack.
"We do not condone violence of any kind and are working hard in our community to address social issues," said the statement.
"We are also concerned about what appears to be backlash from some sectors of the Lethbridge community when the person arrested in relation to this crime was identified as being from the Blood Tribe."
The statement said there will be zero tolerance for any retaliation.
Tailfeathers said some Blood Tribe members have alleged harassment but wouldn't provide details.
Tailfeathers said that the chief and council are concerned.
"They don't want to see it escalate into something that results in any kind of violence or harassment by either the Blood Tribe members or by the Lethbridge community," he said.
"The message is keep the peace."