A passerby was beaten and has life-altering injuries after he intervened when he spotted three people spray-painting gang insignia on a building.
Winnipeg police have arrested four males — two adults and two youth — for the attack and are asking for the public's help in finding one more adult suspect.
Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon said a 35-year-old man was found unconscious on the road at Salter Street and Magnus Avenue at 2:45 a.m. on July 16. He was rushed to hospital in unstable condition.
McKinnon said the man, who investigators weren't able to talk to for some time because of his injuries and treatment, suffered what might be "life-altering injuries."
She said two men and a youth were spray-painting a gang insignia on a business when the victim, who was walking by, intervened in some fashion. She said they don't know what the victim said because of the difficulty in interviewing him.
McKinnon said the three attacked the victim, and another man and a youth joined in.
"The other adult and the youth were simply in the area," McKinnon said Thursday. "They observed the ongoing assault and joined in.
"At this time… it appears they were unknown to each other and they randomly jumped him."
The five punched and kicked the victim, police said. They dragged him onto the road after he lost consciousness and allegedly continued to assault him before running away.
McKinnon said the WPS major crimes unit arrested an adult and two youth at one home, and an adult at another residence, the next day.
Employees at two auto service companies at the intersection said officers came when they opened up; they collected video footage from their security cameras.
They said because the assault happened in the middle of the night, no one saw it.
McKinnon said the natural reaction of people might be to step in when they see something wrong happening, but that's not always best.
"We want to do the right thing," she said. "We want to help.
"But there may be times you intervene and take a risk, and this happened here."
Darren Shayne Swan, 19, of Winnipeg, is believed to have left the city and gone to the Lake St. Martin area. He has a warrant of arrest for aggravated assault and mischief under $5,000. He has a conviction for possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and breaching court orders.
Anyone with any information on Swan's whereabouts is asked to call Winnipeg police at 204-986-6219 or leave an anonymous tip at Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
Evan Brian Habing, 21, and Kevin Kashtin Worme, 20, both of Winnipeg, have been charged with aggravated assault, mischief and firearms-related offences. Both were detained in custody at the time, but Habing was later released on bail. Habing has no criminal record, but Worme is already facing charges of assault, mischief and failing to comply with a court order for alleged offences last February.
Two Winnipeg youths, aged 15 and 14, have also been charged with aggravated assault, mischief and firearms-related offences and detained in custody.
McKinnon said the firearms-related charges are all from a separate investigation unrelated to the assault.
— with files from Dean Pritchard and Cody Sellar
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.