Saskatchewan

Paralyzed man helps police reopen assault case

A B.C. man who was brutally attacked as a teenager during a visit to Saskatoon in 2007, is back in the city to help police advance their investigation.
Conner Copeman says he struggled for years over how to tell police everything about the night he was assaulted. (CBC)

A B.C. man who was brutally attacked as a teenager during a visit to Saskatoon in 2007, is back in the city to help police advance their investigation.

Conner Copeman, who was 18 when he was attacked July 11, 2007, suffered traumatic injuries and remains in a wheelchair.

"Based on new information provided by the victim in an incident which occurred in 2007, Saskatoon Police investigators are now looking at the case again," police said Thursday.

In an interview with CBC News Thursday night, Copeman said he had been struggling for years over how to tell police everything about what happened that night.

"I think I was assaulted because of my sexual preference," Copeman said.

He said he was not ready to tell police about his orientation, and how the attack took place after he had been flirting with some men he had just met.

"I know three individuals that highly contributed to my neck injury," he said.

Now, Copeman has met with investigators and provided a full accounting of his movements the night of the attack, including who he was with.

Copeman said it took five years to come to terms with what happened that night, from the devastating physical injuries, to telling police about his sexuality.

Police did not release any additional information about the case, or their investigation.

Copeman was found severely injured on a Saskatoon sidewalk at Eastlake Avenue and 5th Street around 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. It is believed he had been with a group of people in Buena Vista park, about six blocks away, prior to being found.