Police arrest 9 suspects in connection with Saint-Henri attacks

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Police arrest 9 suspects in connection with Saint-Henri attacks

Montreal police have made nine arrests in connection with a string of vicious attacks that rattled the Southwest borough late last fall.

According to police, citizens were being attacked on their way home from the Metro or while cycling on a bike path nearby.

Police at Station 15, located in the Southwest, were part of the team responsible for apprehending the suspects.

Police Cmdr. Sylvain Parent stressed the importance of people feeling secure in their neighbourhood.

"For us, it's a priority at all times," Parent said.  

The Southwest borough attacks mostly took place in the Saint-Henri and Little Burgundy neighbourhoods.

One prominent case happened on Dec.1, when André Hobson, 22, was viciously beaten by a gang at night, as he walked home from the Saint-Henri Metro station.

Hobson was pinned to the ground and kicked in the face repeatedly for no apparent reason.

He said the gang didn't try to rob him, they just wanted to beat him up.

The attackers did, however, take his wallet when it fell from his pocket. They ran off when two good Samaritans started yelling.

One of them, Lou Panizzi, told CBC News that the way Hobson was being kicked in the face could have killed him if it had gone on longer.

After that attack, night patrols were increased in the area as police worked to reassure the public and apprehend the attackers.

The attacks continued despite the police efforts.

Police say their investigators then gathered enough evidence to execute four searches and arrest eight minors and one adult.

The arrests were carried our Feb. 15, and six of the nine people arrested are still in custody.

The suspects are facing charges that include robbery, assault causing bodily harm, concealment of a weapon and possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.