Nova Scotia

Video could be evidence in Halifax death

Video surveillance could be a key piece of evidence in piecing together Halifax's 10th homicide this year.

Police ask witnesses to come forward

Police received a call about at 3:45 a.m. about a disturbance in the area of Argyle and Sackville streets (CBC)

Video surveillance could be a key piece of evidence in piecing together Halifax's 10th homicide this year.

Kaylin Todd Diggs, 26, died from his injuries after he was assaulted in the city's bar district early Saturday morning. Police received a call at about 3:45 a.m. about a disturbance near the corner of Argyle and Sackville streets.

Joe McGuinness, co-owner of Durty Nelly's, says two video cameras attached to his bar captured some of the altercation before Diggs' death.

"I know a lot about what happened," he said.

"It looks like there was a group trying to attack one individual and they were followed by another group. And then it moved off camera. So it looks like initially there were at least five people involved."

McGuinness says Diggs does not appear on video during the scuffle.

This camera attached to Durty Nelly's could be a key piece of evidence in Diggs' death (CBC)

Police are now reviewing the video. They are also asking witnesses to come forward with information.

McGuinness says the homicide leaves the impression that downtown Halifax is a dangerous place.

Paul MacKinnon of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission says the increased foot patrols by police still cannot prevent violence.

"Regardless of what the circumstances are around it. It does have an impact on downtown.  It certainly strengthens any sort of negative perceptions that people have," he said.

Christian Creaser just moved to Halifax a few months ago and works on Argyle Street. He says he hadn't thought about it before, but now he may begin to question his safety downtown late at night.

"People don't know where to go to be safe anymore," Creaser said. "These things make you think how long you should be alone, how far you should walk, it's crazy."

Questioning bar operation hours

Diggs' death comes eight months after James Mattatal died in hospital after an attack on Argyle Street.

Repeatedly, police have questioned the late hours some bars in the city's downtown are allowed to operate, citing concerns that allowing some bars to serve alcohol until 3:30 a.m. gives patrons more time to drink and make bad decisions.

Not everyone agrees.

Mike Campbell, a managing partner at an Argyle Street bar, says he doesn't think bar hours are the problem with downtown deaths. (CBC)

Mike Campbell, managing partner at The Carleton on Argyle Street says he doesn't know what the answer is to curbing late night violence, but he's not sure earlier closing times is it.

"I don't know if it would make a difference or not," he said. "I think it has more to do with the fact that because there's a finite number of hours the bars you can do it, people get wacky at the end and drives people to order a ton of drinks because it's going to close."

"If they didn't like each other at four o'clock in the morning, they probably didn't like each other at two o'clock in the morning."

Peter Goneau, who works at the Q Smokehouse & Southern Barbecue on Argyle says he doesn't know that the time at which bars close is the real issue either.

"I don't think closing them any earlier would make a huge difference, I think something is to be said about the level of service that's being given, everyone talks about binge drinking, it's a college town," Goneau said.

Instead, Campbell says he wonders why there wasn't security or a police presence.

"There was a bunch of people around, somebody should've stopped it."