A man who took part in a bloody attack in a city alley — in which the attackers used a machete or knife to slash the victim — has been sentenced to jail.
“We see far too many stabbings and weapon offences here in Manitoba,” Crown attorney Deidre Badcock told Judge John Combs during sentencing in Brandon court on Thursday. “A very clear and strong message must be sent.”
On Nov. 14 around 4 a.m., police attended the alley between the 400-block of Fifth and Sixth streets. Officers who were in the area on another matter happened to hear a man call for help.
They found a man with wounds to his face, arms, legs and wrists. The victim told police that two unknown men had chased him and slashed him with a machete or knife, and he’d escaped by fleeing to a nearby home.
It was evident that the victim had suffered severe blood loss, and he was taken to Brandon hospital and then on to a hospital in Winnipeg and underwent surgery to treat his wounds.
Those injuries included a cut to his nose and a cut to his leg that severed his tendons. His main artery at his wrist was cut, and he had a fractured arm.
At the scene, police noted a large amount of blood that trailed away to where the victim was found.
Investigators talked to residents in a nearby apartment building, and one witness said he’d seen two males come out of the alley.
Later that morning, police went to another apartment where they found two men.
One of them was Nick Wayne Clinton Hunter, who initially provided police with the name of his cousin before later admitting he lied. He had what appeared to be blood on his socks and shirt.
Police also found a bloody pair of shoes and noted that Hunter was shoeless.
An empty machete case was also in the apartment and some cocaine was stashed outside a window.
The two men were taken into custody for questioning, and back at the police station Hunter was involved in a bizarre scene.
During his interview at the police station, he asked to use the washroom. When Hunter returned, police noted that the toilet had been plugged.
Police checked the video footage from Hunter’s holding cell for the period prior to the interview and noted he’d been wearing bloody socks.
On the footage, Hunter could bee seen taking off his socks. He then sniffed one turned his back to the camera, and could be seen making gnawing motions in an apparent attempt to eat or suck the blood off his socks.
Unsuccessful, he stuffed the socks in his pocket and that’s the last time they were seen. Police figure Hunter was trying to flush them down the toilet when it got plugged.
At the time, police didn’t have enough evidence to lay charges for the attack, so Hunter and the other man were released on other charges.
Meanwhile, investigators interviewed other witnesses.
One witness said she saw two males run down the back alley and heard someone shout: “Grab him!,” “Give it to him, give it to him!”
She said one man, believed to be Hunter’s co-accused, had a knife. That witness also provided a description of the second man that matched Hunter.
A woman was also seen with the attackers. Strangely, that woman is believed to have been the victim’s girlfriend.
The attackers, the victim and woman were then all spotted leaving the scene.
Police got another clue in the form of a palm print that matched Hunter. It was left on a car which the victim had crawled under to protect himself.
Arrest warrants were issued for Hunter and his co-accused, who is still at large.
No motive for the attack was provided to court.
Hunter pleaded guilty on Thursday to aggravated assault for the alley attack.
He also pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for taking part in a four-on-one attack on a man at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation two weeks after the Brandon incident.
That day, he was on a bail order that required him to abstain from alcohol.
Combs sentenced Hunter to a total of two-years-less-a-day in jail, minus 119 days for presentence custody. That will be followed by two years of probation.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen