February 21, 2020

Winnipeg
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Photo radar van attacked, worker inside hurt

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/12/2010 (3347 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A 75-year-old man working in a photo radar van in Elmwood was hurt after a bat-wielding man battered his windows and damaged equipment.

Police said the assault happened Saturday at about 7 p.m. on Hespeler Avenue near Silvia Street.

A young man darted up to the radar van from the sidewalk and bashed in the front passenger window and rear window before fleeing, police said.

"Whether or not this was someone who just doesn't like photo enforcement, or was this an individual that was recently caught speeding in that area, came back and had his revenge, we don't know," said Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen. There's no suggestion the attacker knew the worker.

Michalyshen said the injured man flagged down a cruiser travelling near Main Street and Redwood Avenue minutes later.

The van's flash system suffered damage as a result of the attack, said police, and the man had an upper body injury but didn't want medical treatment.

No arrests have been made yet in connection with the case, said police.

"Like it or not, these individuals have jobs to do and clearly they're doing their jobs for the sake of safer communities," Michalyshen said. "It is troubling when you see members of the public acting out in this manner."

In another photo radar case, police announced charges in May against a man who was allegedly caught speeding on Hamilton Avenue near Knox Street.

A 24-year-old then allegedly threatened a photo radar operator, and beat on the vehicle. That suspect was charged with uttering threats to kill and intimidation of a justice official.

The employees who carry out photo radar enforcement do not work directly for the city — there's a contract between the city and the private firm ACS. A Washington-based spokesman for ACS did not say if the driver was working alone when the attack happened, nor would he discuss what type of security measures their employees have.

"The safety of our officers is a top priority and while we cannot address the security precautions officers take, all protocols were followed by the officer involved. We have had discussions with the Winnipeg Police Service about the incident and will work closely with them during their investigation of this rare occurrence," said Ken Ericson, director of corporate communications for ACS. Theo Kowalchuk, president of 1Life Workplace Safety and Health, a Winnipeg company, said people who work in potentially violent situations need to have training."

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

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