Stabbing, robbery live streamed after Winnipeg man arranged date online

Live streaming crime: How do we police the internet?

A Winnipeg man was stabbed multiple times and robbed in an attack live streamed on social media when he went to meet somebody he met on a dating site over the weekend.

City police say they were told about the attack by someone watching the live stream and found the victim and suspects at a downtown home around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

The 22-year-old man made arrangements on Saturday to meet a female user at the home. When he got there, he was physically assaulted and stabbed several times, police said, and the attackers took his wallet and car keys.

Const. Tammy Skrabek said the incident speaks to safety issues for people using dating sites.

"I mean, that's exactly what happened in this case is that, the information we do have is that he did meet somebody over the Internet, ultimately in the end of that evening he was robbed and he was physically assaulted," she said.

"So it's extremely troubling that the events that led up to this attack are because he met somebody blindly over the internet."

The victim was taken to hospital, where he is in stable condition.

3 people arrested, charged

Skrabek said she didn't know how many people viewed the video online, or if more than one person contacted police about the assault. She said it's unclear why the attackers chose to live stream the incident, but said the victim in this case is fortunate somebody was watching who chose to report it.

"That is hopefully the message that we can get out there today, is that if you do see something of this nature, whether it's against adults, whether it's against children, you know, that you do notify your local police service," she said.

She added investigations involving live streams are still new to Winnipeg police but are becoming more common.

An 18-year-old man, 44-year-old woman and 17-year-old girl have been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, extortion, possession of a weapon, forcible confinement and a number of related charges. Skrabek said none of the charges are related to the live stream.

Skrabek wouldn't say how the three suspects are connected or provide their names to protect the identity of the youth.

She also wouldn't say what dating website or live streaming service was used.

The investigation continues.