Alzheimer's patient may be free Friday

A 69-year-old Winnipeg man with Alzheimer's disease who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife could be released from jail as early as Friday to live at a care facility.

Accused of assaulting wife he couldn't recognize

A 69-year-old Winnipeg man with Alzheimer's disease who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife could be released from jail as early as Friday to live at a care facility in his home neighbourhood of Transcona.

A Winnipeg Regional Health Authority spokeswoman said Thursday that arrangements have been made to have Joe McLeod's health assessed. After a court hearing Friday morning, he could be released to an emergency-placement bed found for him at a care home, the health authority said.

McLeod has been locked up in a medical ward at the Winnipeg Remand Centre since early September. Earlier Thursday, officials said he would likely remain in jail at least until Oct. 25.

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dr. Jon Gerrard has demanded that Justice Minister Andrew Swan launch an immediate investigation into why McLeod was still sitting alone in a jail cell.

Joe (centre) and Rose McLeod (right) on their 45th wedding anniversary in 2007. ((Family photo) )
"I am utterly appalled that minister Swan has not called for the immediate release of this poor old man," said Gerrard in a news release. "The NDP have lost their moral compass."

McLeod was charged with assault after he reportedly became violent on Sept. 2, shoving his wife, Rose, to the ground when he didn't recognize her. Rose McLeod called police because she wasn't sure what else to do.

She said she thought she could get some assistance from officers but didn't expect them to arrest her husband, who has been in custody ever since, even though she has been trying to get the charges dropped.

Gerrard's news release said an official from the WRHA laid the blame on Rose McLeod on Wednesday, suggesting the onus should have been on her to seek home-care services.

So far, the government has not commented on the case, saying it is still before the courts.