A random attack on a 97-year-old woman has left some living downtown feeling unsafe leaving their homes.
The woman was seated on a bench outside the Kiwanis Chateau senior rental property at 430 Webb Place, just off Vaughan Street, last week when she was kicked in the upper body during an unprovoked mid-day assault, said a nearby resident.
"It’s kind of shocking... although I’ve heard of that kind of stuff before," said Norma, who did not want her last name made public. "I always feel nervous coming out, especially at night — but this happened during the day."
Winnipeg police said Wednesday the incident happened around 4 p.m. on Oct. 4. The woman was sent to hospital and treated for her injuries.
Rudy Wayne Elliott, 24, was arrested Oct. 12 on the 300 block of Agnes Street, and is in custody facing a charge of assault causing bodily harm.
The accused and the victim did not know each other, officials said.
This sort of event is shocking, but not entirely uncommon, Winnipeg Police Service Const. Claude Chancy said.
"We do often see attacks on members of a community that are unprovoked, some with reason, some with completely no reason whatsoever," he said.
"It is something we do look out for."
Chancy said he couldn’t speak to the question if random attacks targeting seniors were on the rise.
"I think that any time we have an unprovoked attack on any member of our of our society, it's always shocking. It's even more shocking in a case like this one where you've got a 97-year-old female in an unprovoked attack," he said.
Norma said she would like to see an increased presence of grassroots neighbourhood watch organizations in downtown Winnipeg since police rarely respond to violent incidents in her neighbourhood.
"I really think our justice system leaves a lot to be desired," she said.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.