Suspect terrorizes staff at two opiate clinics
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/05/2020 (1031 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When Dr. Murray Hoy saw the glint of the gun, he thought his life might be over.
“By the time he pulled out the gun, we were all just totally freaked out. I mean, at that point, it’s you or him,” Hoy told the Free Press Wednesday.
Twice this week, Hoy said a man terrorized staff at two Opiate Addiction Treatment Services clinics in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Police Service confirmed it has a man in custody, although his identity has not been released as charges have yet to be laid.
The bizarre ordeal began Monday, while Hoy was working at the OATS clinic at 968 Main St.
Hoy owns the OATS clinics in Winnipeg, which offer methadone and suboxone treatments to recovering opioid addicts.
A man — Hoy described him as roughly 5-10 in height, Caucasian, and unremarkable looking — entered the clinic and began causing a disturbance. The man ignored several requests to leave the premises.
“He did not seem intoxicated. He did not appear to be on crystal meth or anything like that,” Hoy said.
When staff called police, Hoy said, the man “took off running to his vehicle and bolted.”
Police confirmed officers responded to a disturbance call at the clinic, but said by the time officers arrived, the man was gone.
“Officers determined there had been no criminal threats or assaults. No injuries were reported, and the staff did not identify the male,” a police spokesman said in a written statement.
“It was two days in a row, at two different clinics. It was a bit of a shock. But this time he was dressed head-to-toe in black. He almost looked like a ninja.”
– Dr. Murray Hoy
Hoy said while the incident was unnerving, his staff was relieved when the man fled and the confrontation did not escalate.
The next day, Hoy said, he was working at the OATS clinic at 1151 Pembina Hwy., when the man showed up again.
“It was two days in a row, at two different clinics. It was a bit of a shock. This time, he was dressed head to toe in black. He almost looked like a ninja,” Hoy said.
“We were all super concerned at that point, and again he started getting into it with staff.”
Eventually, Hoy said the man kicked in his office door and began attacking him.
At that point the man is alleged to have pulled out a gun, which police later determined to be an air gun, and struck Hoy in the face with it multiple times.
As the two men crashed to the floor, they fell through a glass table.
Hoy said his colleague was able to wrestle the gun from the man and they detained him until police arrived.
“I was just relieved the police came as quickly as they did. It was only five or 10 minutes. They came fast and they came in full force, too. They responded really well,” Hoy said.
Police confirmed they responded to the clinic at 12:37 p.m., after receiving a report of a man armed with a firearm.
“Upon arrival, officers took the suspect into custody and recovered a BB gun. Both the victim and suspect were transported to a hospital for injuries they sustained before police arrival,” a police spokesman said.
Hoy said his face was bruised from the assault and he suffered a significant laceration on his leg when he fell through the glass table. He required 10 to 12 stitches to close the cut.
The accused is a 44-year-old man from Winnipeg. Police said he will be charged with six offences, including assault with a weapon and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.
Winnipeg police have not laid charges against the suspect in the past, the spokesman said.
Hoy said that while he and his staff are happy the man is in custody and will face criminal charges, they are confused and worried.
“I think we’re all just wondering if it’s going to happen again with the same guy once he’s out. That’s what my staff is super concerned about,” Hoy said. “Essentially, this was like stalking behaviour. It almost felt terrorism-like. Pulling out a gun? It’s just so stupid.”
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
Updated on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:42 PM CDT: Headline changed