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Guilty of Transit assault caught on tape

A man who came to city-wide attention during a police manhunt for a suspect in the beating of a Winnipeg Transit driver has pleaded guilty.

Dwight John Stevenson, 23, admitted to a charge of assault causing bodily harm to the 50-year-old driver on Sept. 14, 2013.

The attack was captured on video and distributed by police during their search for a suspect last fall.

It was widely shared on social media and YouTube and led ultimately to police identifying Stevenson as a suspect.

Crown prosecutors stayed a charge of uttering threats after Stevenson owned up to the assault.

Sentencing was put off until later this year.

Judge Margaret Wiebe ordered the preparation of reports examining Stevenson's background, personal circumstances and the risk he poses.

He remains in custody.

Police said Stevenson attacked the bus driver at William Avenue and Isabel Street around 12:30 p.m.

He got on, didn't pay the full fare and demanded a transfer before getting violent, said police.

The assault continued for up to three minutes until two bystanders intervened.

Stevenson got off the bus and got in another confrontation with other people, police said.

The transit driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The case stalled until police released the transit video, which they said was viewed more than 40,000 times.

Stevenson was granted bail to live at the Behavioural Health Foundation alcohol-treatment program.

By March, he was wanted for allegedly failing to stay at the facility and prompted several public pleas from police for help finding him.

Not missing: Calgary woman to police

A Calgary woman whose vehicle and belongings were found abandoned at the side of a Manitoba highway has turned up to report she's not actually missing.

Police said Friday Michelle Matovich, 28, is safe after she contacted them -- first in a telephone call, then in person -- in response to a Canada-wide alert put out earlier in the week.

And while police say their investigation is over, the mystery surrounding the case lingers.

Matovich had last been seen by her family in Alberta on the May long weekend. The investigation moved east when Portage RCMP found the woman's car -- along with luggage, a cellphone and a map -- on the afternoon of June 3 near MacGregor.

RCMP issued a public alert on June 10, saying they were concerned for the woman's well-being and seeking help in finding her. They said family members had no explanation for why Matovich was in Manitoba.

An RCMP release Friday morning confirmed Matovich had been found but provided no other details, including where she was or why she vanished.

RCMP deferred comment to the Calgary Police Service, who did provide some background information. Sgt. John Hebert told the Free Press Matovich phoned Portage RCMP on Thursday, expressing surprise at the fact she was listed as a missing person. She was not in Manitoba, or Alberta, at the time of the call.

RCMP asked Matovich to go to the nearest police station so officers could confirm she was OK. She did that later in the day. "At this point now, it's basically become a private matter," said Hebert, adding no charges will be laid.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2014 A11

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