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Suspect in Calgary mall machete attack apprehended under Mental Health Act days earlier

Suspect in Calgary mall machete attack apprehended days earlier
WATCH ABOVE: There are questions if a violent attack in a Calgary mall over the weekend could have been prevented. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.

Global News has learned the 24-year-old man charged in a machete attack that left a Calgary police officer severely injured over the weekend had been apprehended under the Mental Health Act just days before.

READ MORE: Officer ‘severely injured’ after possible machete incident at northeast Calgary mall Saturday, say police

Sources say Antonio Philip Bautista was taken to the Rockyview General Hospital Sept. 12.

Antonio Philip Bautista is facing charges in connection with a machete attack at Marlborough Mall in Calgary on Sept. 17, 2016.
Antonio Philip Bautista is facing charges in connection with a machete attack at Marlborough Mall in Calgary on Sept. 17, 2016. Supplied

Police say they can’t comment because the matter remains under investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

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READ MORE: 2 Calgary police officer-involved shootings renew calls for body worn cameras

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said its officers are unable to comment on specific patient cases due to privacy legislation, citing the Health Information Act.

According to the Mental Health Act, Bautista would have been seen by a doctor within 24 hours or released.

He is now charged with aggravated assault, assault of a peace officer, possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace, breach of a probation order and two counts of unrelated warrants for his arrest. He’s set to appear in court Sept. 20.

Watch below: Global’s coverage of the incident at Marlborough Mall

Police responded to reports of a man “fighting and assaulting people with a weapon” in the Marlborough Mall parking lot Saturday at about 2:10 p.m. MT. The suspect fled before officers arrived, but was then spotted behind a dumpster.

“I was coming off the bus to go on the train and I saw an altercation and all of a sudden a guy was chasing some people with a knife and he ran into the mall and a bunch of cops showed up,” Kayla Perrin, who witnessed part of the ordeal, said Saturday.

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The machete used in the incident was 66 centimetres long, according to ASIRT. The blade of the weapon was 48cm long.
The machete used in the incident was 66 centimetres long, according to ASIRT. The blade of the weapon was 48cm long. Courtesy, ASIRT

Police said an officer deployed his Taser when the suspect turned to “confront” him, but it didn’t stop the suspect.

“In the process of taking the suspect into custody, the man produced a large bladed weapon and severely injured the officer,” police said in a statement Monday. “An altercation occurred, resulting in the officer discharging his service firearm.”

Both the officer and suspect were taken to hospital.

Calgary police refused to comment further, citing the ongoing ASIRT investigation.

READ MORE: ASIRT investigating after 2 unrelated officer-involved shootings in Calgary Saturday

ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson said Sunday the suspect underwent emergency surgery. Police said he remained in hospital Monday in stable condition.

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