May 30, 2014 11:28 am
Updated: May 30, 2014 9:17 pm

Homeless man in hospital following ‘unprovoked’ assault in northeast Edmonton


Watch above: Police say a homeless Edmonton man is lucky to be alive following what’s believed to have been a random, unprovoked attack. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON — An Edmonton homeless man is recovering in hospital from what police are calling “a cowardly attack against a helpless male.”

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Investigators believe it happened sometime between 11 p.m. Monday and 12 a.m. Tuesday. They say the 43-year-old was underneath the Victoria Trail Bridge in northeast Edmonton, minding his own business, when he was beaten with an edged weapon.

“From the nature of his injuries, he was most likely trying to defend himself. This man will be in hospital for some time recovering…he’s lucky to be alive,” said Acting Det. Mark Rosenow with the Edmonton Police Service.

Two passersby heard him just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, in obvious distress, and called for help.

“What they found was blood covering his hands, they could see bone contusions coming out of his hands,” Rosenow said.

The man was rushed to hospital, where he remains in serious condition. Police say he will likely have permanent scars on his face and hands from his injuries.

“This is simply a cowardly attack against a helpless male. There’s no easier simpler way to put it,” Rosenow added.

“He was underneath the bridge by himself, and not easily visible to anyone else. They actually had to go underneath the bridge to find him. Because from any of the walking paths, bridge or stairwell you wouldn’t have been able to see him.”

As an outreach worker, Aidan Inglis is all too familiar with the risks homeless people face on a regular basis. He finds them sleeping underneath bridges, in parks and alleys.

“Whether they’re sleeping under a blanket or in a tent, there is no security system or front door that the rest of us are fortunate enough to have,” he said.

“The fact that someone so vulnerable is taken advantage of like that, it’s heartbreaking.”

The suspect is described as a tall Caucasian man with a slim build, approximately 20 years old, clean-shaven, with short blonde hair and blue eyes.

It’s possible he may have been with a Caucasian woman who was wearing blue pants and a blue shirt with a zipped up jacket.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police (at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone), or submit information anonymously to Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477).

With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News

© 2014 Shaw Media

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