Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Gang member confesses to violent robbery spree

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A young Indian Posse street gang associate has taken responsibility for a 15-minute robbery spree in the North End that left two boys stabbed and beaten and a 48-year-old man with a sliced arm.

The accused, now 20, was 17 on Jan. 14, 2011 when he set off on the robbery spree on Selkirk Avenue.

By the time the crime spree ended, he had stabbed three randomly targeted people, including a teen boy who required surgery to repair a punctured spleen.

The accused 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, uttering threats and two counts of robbery.

With a neck warmer pulled up over his face, he first struck around 7:15 p.m. near the corner of Selkirk Avenue and McKenzie Street 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 while fingering his waistband as if he had a gun, Crown attorney Melissa Weinstein told court. The cool-headed store clerk managed to convince him to leave without any violence erupting.

That changed moments later when the youth pulled a knife on a 48-year-old man not far from the store. When the man refused to hand over his property, he was stabbed in the bicep.

His next targets appeared a block west of the first stabbing, where 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, he punched the 15-year-old three times in the face, knocking out a tooth, before stabbing the boy in the back as he turned to run away, court heard.

The accused then approached 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 is expected to take place later this year. Reports examining the offender’s psychological state and his personal background will be presented at that time. The Crown did not state what sentence it will seek, but it appears it will not pursue an adult sentence.

He is no longer being held at a youth facility.

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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