Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Vicious assault in Lethbridge, backlash for Blood Tribe members

Chris Davis - Lethbridge Police (LP) have charged Denzel Dre Colton Bird, a 20-year-old Blood Tribe man, with attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, and break and enter after a woman was attacked and sexually assaulted while walking to work on October 7.  According to a Lethbridge Police press release "Investigation by members of the Criminal Investigation Section has determined the accused is unknown to the victim and the crime was a random act of violence."

From the Lethbridge Police report on the incident, "On September 30, 2016 the 25-year-old woman was walking to work when she was approached by the accused and struck with a weapon before being dragged into an alley along the 2000 block of 6 Avenue South and sexually assaulted. She was discovered by a passerby at approximately 8:30 a.m. The victim was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries and currently remains in critical condition.

While on scene police were approached by a neighbour who reported that he had earlier discovered an unknown male sleeping inside his garage and told him to leave. Several items were reported stolen from the garage and some were recovered near the victim.  Following further investigation police identified a suspect and on October 5, 2016 he was arrested without incident at a residence."

The Blood Tribe Chief and Council issued a press release on October 8 regarding the incident and the backlash from "some sectors of the Lethbridge community when the person arrested in relation to this crime was identified as being from the Blood Tribe."

"We are prepared to meet with city officials to address these concerns. We are advising any person who experiences any type of threat or adverse encounter related to this matter to contact the nearest police service and respective local government authority."

"The Blood Tribe has been a historic presence in southern Alberta and has been a good neighbor and is committed to maintaining its role and its relationships in the best interests of all concerned.  Chief and Council do not condone violence of any type and want to send the message that there will be zero tolerance for retaliation by anyone."

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