Lethbridge police have charged a 20-year-old man in connection with the brutal assault of a woman last Friday morning.
Police said the 25-year-old victim was walking to work in the 2000 block of 6 Avenue South when she was allegedly struck with a weapon and dragged into an alley where she was sexually assaulted.
The victim, who suffered life-threatening injuries, was found by a passerby at 8:30 a.m. She was taken to hospital where she remains in critical condition in an induced coma.
On Thursday, police announced Denzel Dre Colton Bird, 20, of Lethbridge, had been charged with several offences including attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.
“He does have a number of warrants that were outstanding at the time that we arrested him,” Staff Sgt. Scott Woods said at a Thursday news conference.
The assault was seemingly a random attack.
“I think like anybody else we are absolutely rattled by that, as a police service,” Woods said. “It’s something we don’t see very often.”
“Lethbridge, still, is a fairly safe community … these attacks can happen, but fortunately fairly infrequently.”
Bird was remanded in custody and is set to appear in court Friday, Oct. 7.
Woods said the victim’s family was happy to learn charges had been laid.
A family member said they are relying on their faith to get through. He thanked the Lethbridge community and people across the world for their support and positivity throughout the ordeal.
“This isn’t about anger,” he told reporters.
“This isn’t our job—to do justice. Having anger or resentment or anything towards this man will not change our situation.”
Global News is not naming the victim or family member since the charges were laid, as we do not identify victims of sexual assault.