Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Transit threats 'pretty blatant'

Police seek man who taunted blind person

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Winnipeg police are asking for the public's help in tracking down a man who threatened to kill a blind man and his seeing-eye dog earlier in the fall.

Police said even with surveillance video, investigators have not been able to track down the suspect.

"We're at a point in the investigation where we've exhausted all efforts in regards to the identity of this individual," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said.

Michalyshen said the incident happened Sept. 17. The 41-year-old man and his guide dog were waiting for a westbound bus at about 8 a.m. at Portage Avenue near Spence Street when an unknown man approached them and started distracting his dog.

The man asked the suspect to leave the dog alone but the man persisted and then escalated his behaviour, eventually threatening to harm and kill the man and his dog.

The man boarded a bus but the suspect followed him and continued to threaten him, despite protests from other transit riders.

The threats continued for the duration of the bus ride, when the man and his dog got off near Polo Park.

The suspect remained on the bus. The man contacted police when he arrived home but police have not been able to track the suspect down.

The threats "were pretty blatant," Michalyshen said. "They were something that nobody would like to hear."

Michalyshen said there does not appear to be a motive for the threats, adding the victim had done nothing to provoke the outburst.

"The comments were really quite despicable," Michalyshen said. "We're going to continue to make every effort to identify this individual... and hold him accountable."

The suspect is described as a white, adult man, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9, with dark brown hair and a goatee.

At the time, the suspect was wearing a dark jacket with red lettering on the left front, a light-coloured hoodie, blue jeans and sunglasses on his forehead.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2012 B2

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