Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rash of stabbings throughout city

Six separate incidents in one week

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A disturbing trend in local crime has emerged in the last week. Six separate stabbing incidents -- two of them double stabbings and one a triple stabbing -- are being investigated by Winnipeg police.

"You can never predict when these type of incidents will occur, but certainly in the last few days we have had a number of stabbings, which is very serious news, unfortunately," said Const. Eric Hofley Thursday.

The first incident, a triple stabbing, happened last Friday around 2:20 a.m. in the area of Kennedy Street and Sargent Avenue and the 600 block of Balmoral Street.

Three women ages 25, 30 and 31 suffered injuries and the 25-year-old woman was initially transported to hospital in critical condition. All three women are currently in stable condition.

Police are investigating.

-- -- --

The second incident happened Monday in the 600 block of Boyd Avenue around 9:30 p.m.

A 71-year-old man discovered a woman on his porch and asked if she would like a glass of water. When the woman accepted, the man went inside his home to get her a drink and the woman followed him indoors, then struck him from behind.

A more physical confrontation ensued and the woman produced a weapon and stabbed the victim in the upper body before fleeing the scene. She stole a few items from the residence before leaving.

'You can never predict when these type of incidents will occur, but certainly in the last few days we have had a number of stabbings, which is very serious news, unfortunately' -- Const. Eric Hofley

The victim was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are still on the lookout for the suspect.

She is described as aboriginal in appearance, 25 to 30 years old, with a medium build and long, black hair. She was wearing loose black pants, a dark-coloured, short-sleeve shirt and black shoes. She was also carrying a black backpack.

-- -- --

The third stabbing happened Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. Police were called to the 1500 block of Regent Avenue West with reports a man had been stabbed.

A 34-year-old man was found with stab wounds to the upper body and taken to hospital in critical condition.

An argument broke out between the victim and the suspect that turned violent.

Police have an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Michael Wereta. He is described as Caucasian, 5-10, 170 pounds with brown hair.

Wereta is considered to be armed and dangerous. If seen, he is not to be approached, but police should be notified immediately of his whereabouts.

-- -- --

The fourth stabbing incident happened on Wednesday just before 10 p.m. in the 1900 block of Portage Avenue, and Hofley called the alleged circumstances "bizarre."

A male suspect -- who's described as possibly Caucasian with darker skin, and about 5-10, in his early 20s with a slim build and brown hair -- ran his bicycle into a parked vehicle downtown.

There were two passengers in the vehicle. They got out of the car to see if the cyclist was OK and one of the passengers, a 44-year-old man, was stabbed by the suspect. The cyclist fled on his bike.

"It's absolutely bizarre behaviour. What prompted this individual to do that hopefully we'll learn in this investigation," said Hofley.

The victim was taken to hospital in stable condition.

The suspect was wearing a red T-shirt and shorts, riding a silver mountain bike and was carrying two spare bicycle tires.

-- -- --

Two more stabbings happened around 5 a.m. on Thursday in the 300 block of Carlton Street.

Officers found two adult victims when they arrived on the scene, a man and a woman, both with stab wounds to the upper body. Both were taken to hospital, the woman in critical condition and the man unstable. They have since been upgraded to stable condition.

A woman was arrested at the scene without incident and members of the District 1 crime unit are continuing to investigate the incident.

-- -- --

On Canada Day, two homicides were reported, one of them a shooting and one of them the result of a double stabbing that left one man dead and another in critical condition.

The double stabbing happened around 10:15 p.m. near the corner of Main Street and Broadway by the Union Station entrance at The Forks.

No arrests have been made.

Hofley said though there seems to have been a surge in crime around Canada Day, the day's celebrations were relatively calm.

"There were several celebrations throughout the city, an excess of 30,000 people at The Forks and we did have a few major incidents. But I think overall in speaking with people that were assigned to it, it was a relatively calm and happy celebration," he said.

Anyone with information on any of the stabbing incidents or alleged suspects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

jessica.botelho-urbanski@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2014 B4

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