Police questioned alleged killer before 2nd stabbing

·3 min read
A photo of Carl Reinboth is surrounded by flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial on Somerset Street W. on April 25, 2021, two days after he was fatally stabbed nearby. (Ryan Patrick Jones/CBC - image credit)
A photo of Carl Reinboth is surrounded by flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial on Somerset Street W. on April 25, 2021, two days after he was fatally stabbed nearby. (Ryan Patrick Jones/CBC - image credit)

Ottawa police questioned and released the man charged in a fatal stabbing in Chinatown last month, only to arrest him a short time later following a second stabbing in the same neighbourhood, CBC News has learned.

New details have emerged about the frenzied two hours after Carl Reinboth, 64, was fatally stabbed on Somerset Street W. on the morning of April 23.

Ottawa police told CBC they can't comment on details of an ongoing homicide investigation, but did say a review of what happened is built into their process.

"With any major call, the full incidents are reviewed and debriefed to ensure all policies, procedures and best practices were followed and any areas for attention, modification or response improvement can be assessed," the service said in a statement.

Reinboth was an outreach worker with the needle exchange and safer inhalation program at the Somerset West Community Health Centre. He was stabbed once in the back at the corner of Somerset and Arthur streets around 9:41 a.m, according to police sources.

Police allege Honor Charley, 20, stabbed Reinboth at random with a knife before fleeing on foot, leaving the alleged murder weapon at that scene.

According to people with knowledge of the case, what allegedly followed was a chaotic set of interactions in the same neighbourhood that lasted just over two hours.

Incident at dog park

From the scene of Reinboth's stabbing, sources say Charley is believed to have walked about 700 metres to the Tech Wall dog park at Bronson Avenue and Slater Street.

It was at that park that police believe Charley attempted to take a dog from a woman. According to Facebook posts that were shared widely in local dog-walking online groups, a woman said the suspect attempted to snatch her Belgian shepherd puppy three times.

At one point, she said, he jumped over a fence and tried to pry the nine-week-old dog from her arms. Other people at the park who witnessed the incident called police.

The woman posted his picture online as a warning to other dog owners.

Ottawa police patrol officers were dispatched to the dog park and did interact with Charley. According to sources, no homicide suspect description was available to officers in the area at that time. Officers ultimately let Charley go without any charges.

Stabbing at gas station

From there, police believe Charley returned to the area of the homicide, just two blocks away on Somerset Street W., where he entered a Petro-Canada gas station.

According to sources, after interacting with staff there, Charley allegedly stabbed an 84-year-old man with a second knife.

Police arrested Charley a short time after the second stabbing with the help of a bystander.

An ambulance sits at a Petro-Canada gas station on Somerset Street W. following the second stabbing on April 23, 2021.
An ambulance sits at a Petro-Canada gas station on Somerset Street W. following the second stabbing on April 23, 2021.(Jacques Corriveau/CBC)

Friends and colleagues continue to mourn Reinboth, described as someone who "showed up" for what mattered most to him and his community.

Defence lawyer Michael Smith is representing Charley. He wouldn't speak to the specifics of the case or the allegations against his client, but said he's been inundated with messages from people who knew Reinboth and said the slain man would want compassion for his alleged killer.

"I can't recall a scenario or situation where I've received something like that, where members of the community are saying to me that jail is not the answer for an individual who's charged with these alleged offences," Smith said.

"I think it's somewhat inspiring to know that even within our justice system, and when individuals are charged with significantly serious offences, that members of the community can still look inside their minds and say, look, there must be another option available."

Charley is charged with one count each of second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. He has no previous criminal convictions and has never been charged with a crime.

Charley was in custody at hospital last week. He is next scheduled to appear in court on May 21.