Montreal police say 10-year-old girl beaten by man in brazen daytime assault

Click to play video: 'Montreal man, 21, in custody after seemingly random assault on child'
Montreal man, 21, in custody after seemingly random assault on child
WATCH: A 10-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after being allegedly attacked in broad daylight on the street, as she was walking home from here east-end Montreal school at lunch. The incident happened on Monday morning in Pointe-aux-Trembles. Global's Olivia O'Malley has the details – Mar 15, 2022

A man has been charged after a 10-year-old girl was severely beaten in broad daylight in Montreal’s east end.

Quebec’s Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) confirmed 21-year-old Tanvir Singh has been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

The Crown prosecutor’s office says the suspect is expected to appear in court Wednesday morning for a bail hearing.

Montreal police Const. Raphaël Bergeron said the child was walking with a friend on the sidewalk on Tricentaire Boulevard outside their school before noon Monday in Pointe-aux-Trembles. They were approached by the man.

“Suddenly at one point, the man started to attack the 10-year-old, punching her and dragging her a couple of metres,” Bergeron said.

“Some pedestrians and people in the neighborhood that saw the altercation then intervened and stopped (it).”

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At the same time, Bergeron said police officers who happened to be patrolling the area saw the attack.

“They stopped and arrested the 21-year-old man at the scene,” he said.

The girl was rushed to hospital. She suffered several serious injuries to her upper body and head, according to police.

“No life-threatening injuries, though, fortunately at this moment,” Bergeron said.

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The suspect has been detained and has been charged with  Investigators are not sure why the man attacked the child.

“We’re going to also look at the possibility of a psychological evaluation for the man,” Bergeron said. “There could be mental health issues that caused that altercation but that’s still to be determined.”

Police have also met with witnesses as part of their ongoing investigation.

The Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île addressed the incident in a letter sent home to parents, saying it was shocked by the attack on its student.

The school board in eastern Montreal said an intervention team made up of psychologists and other professionals has been sent to the school where the child is a student to help support children and staff.

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“These teams will be present at the school at least until Wednesday,” the school board said in a statement issued Tuesday.

‘Violence has no place in Montreal’

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told reporters a news conference Tuesday that she was troubled by the attack and called it “unacceptable.”

“Violence has no place in Montreal and a child should never be subjected to it,” she later wrote on social media.

The assault has also raised concerns among those who live in the same neighborhood where the young girl was attacked.

Zitouni Belkahal, who has three children enrolled at the same school as the victim, said nothing like this has happened in the few years his family has lived in Pointe-aux-Trembles.

“It’s not good at all,” he said, adding all residents want is to live in a safe environment.

Lina Dreo has lived in the area for about 35 years. She has a grandchild who is the same age as the victim and said she was shocked when she learned the news.

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“It’s terrible for the parents,” she said.

Dreo said she hopes an assault like that never happens again and there is more security in the area.

Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade tweeted Tuesday that she was heartbroken by the news and demanded justice for the girl.

“I would have never believed that someone could assault a young girl on her way back from school,” Anglade said. “It’s an indescribable horror.”

— with files from Global News’ Tim Sargeant, Anne Leclair and The Canadian Press

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Montreal police, Mayor Plante announce forum on armed violence

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