Nfld. & Labrador

MUN student charged with attempted murder held for psychiatric assessment

Masih Allahbakhshi, charged with the attempted murder of another student on a Signal Hill walking trail, is due back in court later in April.

Charge upgraded from assault to attempted murder as new information came to light, police say

Masih Allahbakhshi is an engineering student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. (LinkedIn\CBC)

An international student at Memorial University who is charged with the attempted murder of another student on a Signal Hill trail has been held in custody for a psychiatric assessment.

Police confirmed Monday that Masih Allahbakhshi, 28, who was originally charged with assault, has been charged with attempted murder.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has released few details about the incident, which they've described as an "altercation" between the two men, which ended in one of them sustaining minor injuries.

They said the tussle happened some time between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on April 7, as the students were hiking the Signal Hill trail system.

Police aren't saying exactly why the charge against Allahbakhshi changed to attempted murder.

"In the course of the investigation, the grounds presented themselves to lay the charge," RNC spokesperson Const. Geoff Higdon told CBC on Monday afternoon.

The new charge was sworn against Allahbakhshi in provincial court in St. John's on Monday. He was held for a psychiatric assessment and is due back in court April 25.

Police said that while the man Allahbakhshi allegedly attacked knew him, the two were not related. Allahbakhshi studied in Iran before coming to Canada. He is an engineering student at MUN.

A Memorial University spokesperson said Tuesday that it's a "difficult" situation and support is being offered to both students.

The spokesperson said MUN doesn't believe anyone else at the university is at risk in relation to this incident.