Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Man dead in Osborne melee

27-year-old dies of stab wounds after large, chaotic brawl at bar

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A fatal brawl that killed one man Friday was described by witnesses as a scene of total chaos.

A 27-year-old man died in hospital after being stabbed and witnesses say gunshots were fired in a massive street brawl that broke out at Ozzy's Bar in the Osborne Village Inn shortly before 3 a.m. on Friday.

The fight, which began inside the bar, quickly spun out of control and spilled into the street, said a staff member who asked not to be named.

"Some guy brought out a knife, waving it around and then after that a full fight broke out," said the man, who added shots were fired north of the building and in the ensuing confusion more than 50 people poured out of the bar and into the street.

"Five minutes after that, some guy comes staggering across the street all cut up," said the staff member, adding the victim was beaten and stabbed multiple times. "He was stabbed in the arm, in the ribs and part of his face."

Police said officers responded to Stradbrook Avenue and Osborne Street at about 2:35 a.m. after they received a report of a fight.

Police who responded discovered an injured man, who was taken to hospital in critical condition before he died.

A number of people fled the scene before police arrived, said Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken.

"We do have a large area that we're focusing on right now. We do have information that there was a large number of people within that area, in excess of 50 people, and we are trying to gather as much evidence as we can as quickly as possible," she said.

Yellow police tape cordoned off almost an entire city block all morning Friday as police officers combed the scene for evidence.

But only a couple of bloodied rags on the ground and broken windows at the Osborne Village Inn were left to mark the city's 24th homicide of the year.

Police have not released the name of the victim while they continue to notify the family.

No one was in custody for the death Friday morning, said Aitken.

Melanie Regnier, an eyewitness, said she was afraid when she saw the fight from a distance as she made her way back from an evening on Corydon Avenue early Friday.

"When you see (so many) people outside of a bar at 2:30 in the morning, that never makes for a safe environment," said Regnier, who has lived in the neighbourhood for three years. "There were so many different types of people and everybody was drunk."

Residents near Osborne have been rattled by the incident, which comes the day after a serious assault on Thursday when a 29-year-old man was taken to hospital in critical condition after being assaulted with a squeegee. He has since been upgraded to stable.

Police do not believe the two incidents are linked.

People with information are encouraged to call police at 986-6508, or Crime Stoppers at 786-8477 (TIPS).

-- with files from Gabrielle Giroday

meghan.potkins@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2011 B1

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