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This article was published 13/12/2010 (4182 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - A man has admitted to attacking Winnipeg’s "homeless hero" after a night of drinking ended with a violent misunderstanding.
Darrell Longclaws has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and sentenced to 30 months behind bars for the February 2010 incident that left the victim, Faron Hall, suffering serious injuries.
Crown attorney Raegan Rankin told court Longclaws mistakenly thought Hall had sexually assaulted a female friend they were drinking with, then used a table leg to brutally beat him. Hall was initially rushed to hospital in critical condition but has since recovered.
Longclaws has an extensive criminal record and told court he still considers Hall a close friend. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail, in addition to double-time credit of 19 months for the time he has already spent in custody since his arrest.
Hall, 46, first made headlines in May 2009 when he jumped into the Red River to rescue 19-year-old Joseph Mousseau, who had been horsing around on the Provencher Bridge with friends. Hall, an alcoholic who had been living under the bridge, swam about 15 metres into the frigid river to grab the boy.
In September 2009, Hall was drinking with four friends on the banks of the Red River in St. Boniface when one of his friends, a 19-year-old woman, slipped into the water. The woman’s boyfriend jumped in to save her, but neither could swim. Faron leapt into the water and managed to save 19-year-old Tara Lynn Beardy. He went back to save her 32-year-old boyfriend, Chris Harper, but he had gone under.
In the months following Hall’s heroic efforts, his actions were lauded. He received the mayor’s Medal of Valour and two medals from the Manitoba Life Saving Society. The Winnipeg Foundation set up an endowment fund in his name to give grants to community groups that support the homeless.
But while the world hailed Hall as a hero, he’s continued to struggle with personal demons.
A member of the Dakota Tipi First Nation, Hall has said he grew up in a good foster home in Waverley Heights and worked as a teaching assistant before he became an alcoholic. His mother was murdered on Maryland Street about a decade ago, and a sister was stabbed about three years ago. He has four children, including a stepdaughter.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.