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Blood Tribe releases statement on brutal Lethbridge assault

Denzel Dre Colton Bird has been charged with several offences including attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon after a 25-year-old Lethbridge woman was attacked on Sept. 30, 2016. Erik Mikkelsen / Global News

The Blood Tribe Chief and Council issued a statement expressing their concerns and sympathy regarding an assault of a Lethbridge woman that happened on Sept. 30.

A newlywed woman was walking to work on 6 Avenue S. when she was violently attacked.

The 25-year-old remains in a medically-induced coma to help control bleeding in her brain and also has extensive head injuries. Lethbridge police said the scene was one of the worst they have ever come across.

WATCH: Man who found Lethbridge woman after horrific attack speaks: ‘Maybe God sent me’

The Blood Tribe expressed concern Sunday, after the suspect charged in connection with the attack was recognized as being from their community.

The following excerpt is part of the statement issued by The Blood Tribe Chief Council on their website Sunday:

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“The Blood Tribe Chief and Council were saddened to hear about the incident in the city where a young lady was assaulted and injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. We do not condone violence of any kind and are working hard in our community to address social issues.”

“We are also concerned about what appears to be backlash from some sectors of the Lethbridge community when the person arrested in relation to this crime was identified as being from the Blood Tribe.  We are prepared to meet with city officials to address these concerns. We are advising any person who experiences any type of threat or adverse encounter related to this matter to contact the nearest police service and respective local government authority.” 

Denzel Dre Colton Bird, 20, is charged with several offences in connection with the attack, including attempted murder and sexual assault with a weapon.

Bird made his first court appearance Friday morning.

The court heard from lawyer Greg White, who acted as agent for Bird, that the accused was in the process of retaining White as council.

White said he is quite concerned with the way Lethbridge police presented Bird at the police station after his arrest.

“They have secure bays there, they didn’t have to do what’s traditionally called a perp walk,” White said. “Everybody in Canada is presumed innocent and by doing the perp walk, with respect, they may be violating his right to be presumed innocent, at least in the eyes of the public.”

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READ MORE: ‘It’s just shocking’: friends speak after Lethbridge woman brutally attacked on city street

In its statement Sunday, the Blood Tribe said “Chief and Council do not condone violence of any type and want to send the message that there will be zero tolerance for retaliation by anyone.”

Bird remains in custody and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Oct. 20. He is expected to appear via closed circuit television from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.

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