A Winnipeg man accused of attempting to rob an off-duty police officer — which sparked a call by the police union for secured downtown parking — has now also been charged with threatening a motorist with a knife.
The driver was stopped at a red light on St. James Street north of Portage Avenue with his driver's side window partially down just before noon on Jan. 2, police said Friday. A man approached the vehicle, asking the driver for money.
The motorist refused and the man pulled a knife, demanded money, threatened to hurt the driver and began pulling on the window.
The light turned green and the motorist drove off. He wasn't injured and his vehicle wasn't damaged.
Police said its Forensic Services Unit was able to lift fingerprints on the window to identify a suspect.
Winnipeg police spokeswoman Tammy Skrabek said that's when officers realized it was the same man accused of attempting to rob an off-duty police officer who had left work and was heading to his personal vehicle on Sunday.
In that incident, the would-be robber appeared to be going for a weapon when the officer identified himself as a police officer and the man fled.
Skrabek said they arrested the suspect at the Winnipeg Remand Centre, where he had been detained following his arrest within minutes of the earlier attempt robbery.
Winnipeg Police Association president Mo Sabourin said earlier this week that the union is so concerned about the safety of its members when they are off duty and leaving the downtown police headquarters it has asked the province’s workplace, safety and health department to step in and look at the situation.
Jaime Efrain Garcia, 36, has also been charged with failing to comply with probation. He remains in custody.
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.