Police say assault where boy was hit in head with hammer appears unprovoked

WINNIPEG — Police say a Winnipeg teen will likely suffer life-altering injuries after being struck in the head with a hammer during an assault that investigators believe was unprovoked.

Police say they responded to a call about an assault on Sekirk Avenue late Saturday morning, and the officers arrived to find a 15-year-old boy on the sidewalk with serious head trauma.

The boy had been hit with a hammer in the back of his head, and police say it was still embedded there when they arrived.

He was taken to hospital in critical condition, where he remained on Sunday.

No arrests had been made by late Sunday afternoon, but police say there was good video from a surveillance camera and that they believe one male suspect is responsible.

Dakota Grozelle, who says he was with his brother walking into a pizza shop Saturday when they saw the injured boy, says the teen remained conscious and they talked with him until first-responders arrived.

"My brother started freaking out and he told me, 'Look, there's somebody on the ground there with a hammer in his head,'" Grozelle said on Sunday.

"I looked and I was kind of freaked out because I kind of recognized the person," he said. "He's one of my friends that I met on the street here, cause I like to help the community a lot."

Less than a week earlier, another attack that police say appeared unprovoked resulted in the death of a 57-year-old man in Winnipeg.

Raymond Wesley Hill got onto the bus last Sunday afternoon, where police allege a man started a fight with him and then stabbed him.

After Hill was stabbed, police say the bus stopped and Hill flagged down a passing police unit before collapsing.

Forty-six-year-old Justin Gabriel James has been charged with manslaughter.

Grozelle said he's puzzled about why someone would want to hurt the boy who was injured Saturday.

"He was the nicest and still the nicest kid I know around here. I say hi to him every day. I don't know why anybody would want to hurt him." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press