Man wanted in 'horrific' attack on teen in bus shelter captured in stolen truck

A man is facing charges in connection with a random, unprovoked attack on a teenager in a downtown bus shelter that left the victim so badly beaten he was incapable of moving from the concrete.

Victim is teen student from India who has been in Canada less than 3 weeks

Surveillance video of bus shelter beating

5 years ago
Duration 1:16
Winnipeg police Const. Tammy Skrabek describes the vicious attack of a foreign student caught on surveillance video and talks about why police are so concerned about it.

A man is facing charges in connection with a random, unprovoked attack on a teenager in a downtown Winnipeg bus shelter that left the victim so badly beaten he was incapable of moving from the concrete.

Winnipeg police arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the incident around 9:50 p.m. CT on Wednesday, more than 24 hours after the attack, said Insp. Cam Baldwin.

"Obviously we're very relieved. This is an individual that is known to police, so we were concerned based on the violence of the initial offence and the fact that he is known to police," Baldwin said. "We were concerned for the safety of other citizens so we're very relieved to have him off the streets at this point."

A man wanted in connection with a brutal assault in a bus shelter was found driving a stolen truck, which police brought to a stop Wednesday evening near Portage Avenue and Albany Street. (Submitted by Danton Unger)

The attack happened around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday inside a large shelter attached to the front of Portage Place Shopping Centre.

The 17-year-old victim, a university student who had only been in Canada about three weeks, was in the shelter for only four or five minutes before the attacker went after him, police said.

A brief clip of surveillance video footage released by police shows the victim and attacker standing a few feet apart.

The attacker waits for other people in the shelter and those standing nearby outside the shelter to leave. Then suddenly the attacker lunges at the teen and starts to punch him.

The video stops there.

Paramedics wheel a beating victim to a waiting ambulance following an attack in a bus shelter on Portage Avenue on Tuesday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Police officers spotted the man they arrested Wednesday evening near Portage Avenue and Albany Street, in a truck stolen from somebody in Gimli, Man.

"We had quite a number of units involved, including our Air 1 [helicopter]," Baldwin said, adding that the arrest is a testament to the value of the helicopter.

"Without that resource we probably would have been in situation where we may not have apprehended him or it would have elevated the risk to the public in our pursuit of him," he said.

The man was taken into custody and charges will be processed soon, Baldwin said. He believes the man is from Winnipeg.

'More dangerous than anybody else out there'

Before the arrest, a police spokesperson said police were desperate to find the man who attacked the teen, calling him "more dangerous than anybody else out there."

"We need to get this person identified as soon as possible and have them removed from the streets," said spokeswoman Const. Tammy Skrabek.

A tow truck hauls away a police cruiser that was damaged during the pursuit and takedown on a stolen truck on Portage Avenue. (Submitted by Danton Unger)

Skrabek said the video was kept brief and halted just as the attack began  "because the general public does not need to see this type of violence."

The teen was ​punched, kicked and knocked to the ground, where the beating continued "to the point that this poor victim was unable to move," she said.

"When I'm saying [is] it was a horrific attack, it is a horrific attack."

The victim, who was also robbed, was left with serious facial and head injuries and sent to hospital in stable condition. He was treated for multiple facial injuries and released.

The attack is particularly disturbing for its apparent deliberateness, Skrabek said.

"We're talking about somebody who was standing there, purposely waiting to prey on a victim. That person is more dangerous than anybody else out there who's perhaps dealing drugs or whatever it is," she said.

"It's this person that the public needs to be concerned about — somebody like this, who's completely, randomly attacking somebody not known to him, unprovoked."

Earlier in the day, investigators asked anyone with information about the attack to contact police. Baldwin said anyone who saw the accused involved in any other crime or who observed him in the stolen truck is still encouraged to contact police.

Investigators can be reached at 204-986-6222 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).