Trial for international student charged with attempted murder in 2016 UBC assault starts today
The trial for an 18-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia arrested in connection with an assault at UBC’s Vancouver campus in October 2016 is set to start Tuesday.
Thamer Almestadi was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly assaulted a woman in one of the student residences.
He was caught and held down until police arrived by a Good Samaritan, later identified as engineering student Adam Casey.
WATCH: One of the people who sprung into action to rescue a woman who was being attacked at UBC is speaking out about the horrifying experience.
Casey was collecting his mail at Totem Residence when he was approached by several young women begging him to help another resident being choked upstairs.
When he reached the third floor, he found a young woman allegedly being choked by a male student.
“I went in and I tried to get his hands free from her neck but he was holding quite tightly, so I had to go behind him and put him in a chokehold,” Casey said.
“He was very determined on choking her.”
At that point, other students rushed in to help the alleged victim, and were able to free her and restrain Almestadi.
Another witness who was trained as a lifeguard started doing first-aid on the victim.
“I held him in a chokehold for several minutes until my friend Luka returned and told me I should probably loosen up or he was going to pass out or something,” Casey added.
“I just left him there and he just stayed lying on the ground for a few minutes and asked if he could sit up and I said ‘sure’ and then let him sit in the chair until the police arrived.”
A knife was found on the ground after the attack ended.
The name of the female victim, who was rushed to hospital with a laceration to her neck, has not been released and details of the case are under a publication ban.
New UBC President Santa Ono said he was “shocked and very concerned” following news of the attack.
Almestadi made his first court appearance at Richmond Provincial Court on Oct. 5, 2016.
He has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
~ with files from Nadia Stewart and Yuliya Talmazan
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