Man’s random attack ‘strikes fear’ in residents, judge says
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A man who attempted to strangle a stranger with a shoelace on the Daly Overpass last summer pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in court Monday.
Around 6:50 p.m. on June 27, 2022, Oswald Bunn had been walking over the Brandon bridge when he came across a random bystander who had been observing the nearby construction.
In what Crown attorney Andrew Sieklicki described as a “drug-induced decision,” Bunn then attempted to wrap a 20-inch-long piece of string around the man from behind. Eyewitness accounts differ on whether Bunn wrapped the string around the man’s neck or body.
The victim then overtook Bunn and pinned him to the ground with the help of another bystander.
Brandon police arrived on scene a short time later and arrested Bunn, discovering he was also carrying a can of bear spray at the time.
Before being brought into police custody, Bunn was transported to the Brandon Regional Health Centre due to his level of intoxication by methamphetamine.
According to Bunn’s lawyer, the victim didn’t report any injuries following the incident.
“From what the Crown can deduce, this was a random act,” Sieklicki said in court Monday. “It wasn’t meant to be a mugging. It appears that Mr. Bunn was not requesting any items from the complainant, which I think, at some level, should be even more concerning.”
Because of the nature of the assault, combined with Bunn’s prior convictions for breaking and entering and weapons possession, the Crown attorney recommended a nine-month custodial sentence.
Under this plan, however, the convicted assailant will spend only another 33 days in jail, as he has already served 158 days behind bars (237 days with enhanced time) since his arrest last June.
Defence lawyer Jennifer Janssens endorsed the Crown’s recommendation.
Before Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta provided her ruling, she admonished Bunn for the “very serious nature” of this assault, saying it’s the kind of incident that has a broader impact on the psychological well-being of the community.
“This is the kind of drug-fuelled, random attack on a stranger that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of people about the safety of this city,” the judge said.
“So, it not only hurts the victim, but it hurts everyone in the community who hears about it because it potentially makes people more scared to go out and move around in the city.”
Hewitt-Michta also sentenced Bunn to two years of supervised probation upon release.
During that time, Bunn will be bound by various court-imposed conditions, including a weapons prohibition.
» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson