Band member survives beating

Woman hijacked her van, singer says

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The lead singer of a London, Ont. rock band says she narrowly escaped with her life after being viciously beaten by a woman she met in a downtown Winnipeg bar.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/09/2009 (4722 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The lead singer of a London, Ont. rock band says she narrowly escaped with her life after being viciously beaten by a woman she met in a downtown Winnipeg bar.

But Sarah Smith of The Joys, who has been here recording a new album, said the experience hasn’t tainted her opinion of the city.

“It was crazy, but it was just a situation and it could happen in any town,” Smith, 31, said during an interview Monday night.

HANDOUT Sarah Smith: a night to forget

The singer said that last Friday, she and her drummer Kevin Komatsu decided to take a break from recording and go for a beer. They ended up at the Woodbine Hotel on Main Street around 1:30 a.m.

At the bar, they befriended a couple and two other women and when the bar closed, the group asked the band members for a ride home in their van.

When Komatsu pulled over so that he and the other man could use the bathroom, Smith said one of the women suddenly elbowed her in the head, knocked her to the floor and hijacked the van, leaving both men behind.

“I didn’t even know where we were but it was a hell ride for 15 minutes through stop signs and stoplights as she’s tearing down the street at 110, 120 km-h,” Smith recalled. “I was on my knees begging her to stop, telling her I’d pay her, that I’d do anything.”

The woman pulled up to a condo complex and got out of the vehicle, but then remembered she’d left the keys behind. “She kept saying she’d kill me if I didn’t give the keys back,” said Smith, who had put them in her purse. “That’s when she started beating the f out of me.”

After enduring many punches and kicks to the head and body, Smith — her bra and shirt had been torn off during the assault — was finally able to make a break for it.

“I jumped on her, grabbed the keys and just started running and knocking on doors until finally a guardian angel let me in,” she said, adding that in retrospect, she probably should’ve just relinquished the vehicle.

“It was kind of instinct; I just kept thinking ‘I don’t want her to take my van. It’s my money. It’s how we tour.”

Smith was treated in hospital for minor injuries and released.

Rebecca Flett, 27, was later arrested and has been charged with uttering death threats and robbery with violence.

— with files by The Canadian Press

carolin.vesely@freepress.mb.ca

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