Edmonton police have charged a 30-year-old man with aggravated assault after a woman picking up her three children from a daycare was violently attacked.
The attack happened as the woman, 39, was standing outside a daycare near 115th Street and 105th Avenue around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, waiting for the front door to be unlocked, the Edmonton Police Service said in a news release Friday.
A man, described by police as impaired, approached her and tried to pull her backpack off her shoulders. She held onto it as the man unzipped it and tried to reach inside.
The woman and man struggled before the suspect allegedly grabbed the woman's hair and threw her down, "repeatedly smashing her head against the sidewalk," police said.
Downtown division officers were nearby, responding to another call involving the same man allegedly trying to break into vehicles.
Two officers came to the woman's aid as the man sat on top of her, "strangling her into unconsciousness," police said.
2 children watched 'entire incident'
"Another two minutes and we may have been talking about a homicide today," Insp. Erik Johnson said in Friday's news release.
"The incident in itself is extremely disturbing and was exacerbated by the fact two of her young children watched the entire incident through the front door of the daycare."
Paramedics took the woman to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. She was later released from hospital.
The man has been charged with aggravated assault, choking to overcome resistance, robbery and breach of conditions.