Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Teen pleads guilty to charges stemming from violent rampage

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A young Indian Posse street-gang associate has admitted guilt in connection with a staggering spree of violence in the North End which left a wave of terrified victims in its wake.

The accused, now 20, was 17 on Jan. 14, 2011 when he set off on a 15-minute long robbery spree down Selkirk Avenue.

By the time it ended, he had stabbed three randomly-targeted people, including a teen boy who required surgery and 30 staples to repair a punctured spleen.

The accused will be sentenced as a youth and has been in custody since his arrest the same day. He cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He pleaded guilty today to a range of charges including aggravated assault and two counts of robbery.

With a neck warmer pulled up over his face, the gang member first struck around 7:15 p.m. when he confronted a 45-year-old man and two teen girls who fled into a store for safety.

He followed them inside and then threatened to shoot people, Crown attorney Melissa Weinstein told court. The cool-headed store clerk managed to convince him to leave without any violence.

The offender then proceeded to pull a knife on a 48-year-old man on the sidewalk near the store. When the victim refused to hand over his property, he was stabbed in the bicep.

Undeterred, his next targets appeared a block west of the first stabbing and he accosted two teen boys, 14 and 15, asking them if they were "down" with a rival gang. He grabbed the older boy's music player from his hands.

Instead of just taking the item and going on his way, the offender punched the youth three times in the face, knocking out a tooth, before stabbing him in the back as he turned to run away, court heard.

The accused then returned to the younger boy, punched him in the face and stabbed him before he could run away.

The 15-year-old collapsed in a nearby store due to his serious stab injury and was rushed to Children's Hospital where he required surgery.

Police were hot on the attacker's heels and flooded the area. He was arrested after being spotted at Pritchard Avenue and Aikins Street.

Sentencing will take place later this year. Reports examining the offender's psychological state and his personal background will be presented at that time.

The accused admitted today he has limited recollection of what happened due to his level of intoxication at the time.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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