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‘Wrong place, wrong time’: Friends, family mourning loss of man attacked at hospital

At the time, Saskatoon police said Randy Beauchesne was in critical condition and the incident may have been a case of mistaken identity. File / Global News

A 56-year-old man who was the victim to an assault at Royal University Hospital in mid-June has died.

Close friend Chris Sicotte said Randy Beauchesne died on Saturday night.

Read more: Man faces attempted murder charge after stabbing at Saskatoon hospital

“Just to hear of his passing was a shock, and just the senseless and tragic nature of what happened, as well. It was literally wrong place, wrong time” Sicotte said.

A Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) statement said officers were called to the hospital around 8:15 p.m. on June 13 for a report of an assault in a public area inside. Once they got there, police learned Beauchesne had been stabbed.

The suspect was taken into custody by RUH security officers and later arrested by SPS officers. At the time, Saskatoon police said Beauchesne was in critical condition and the incident may have been a case of mistaken identity.

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Kevin Witchekan, 39, was charged with attempted murder the following day.

On Thursday, SPS announced Witchekan is now charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident. He will be in court Thursday afternoon.

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Sicotte and Beauchesne were training partners at a local martial arts facility for 15 years, an activity that bonded the two.

He said Beauchesne was initially able to talk while in hospital despite suffering a brain injury, but about two weeks ago “his situation took a rather sudden downturn.”

After this, he was non-communicative. Though Sicotte said doctors were “fairly confident” he still knew people were around him.

Beauchesne was an arborist who is being remembered for loving plants and trees.

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“I know that’s something that we’ve talked about now, is that if people are looking to do something in his memory — plant a tree, because that was what he really, really loved,” Sicotte said.

He added Beauchesne will also be remembered for his kindness, compassion, and patience.

“He was very giving in terms of not only his knowledge with trees but with what he wanted to pass along and share with martial arts training as well. Genuinely, one of those types of people that, you often hear the phrase ‘will give you the shirt off their back’. That was Randy.”

Sicotte said Beauchesne also survived cancer twice and continued to live his life and do the things he loved.

He leaves behind a daughter and young granddaughter.

“We as a greater community — we’ve lost a friend and we’ve lost a great guy. We’ve really lost an outstanding individual as a result of this.”

Read more: No jail time, likely no record for man who randomly attacked woman in Vancouver alley

An update to a GoFundMe set up after Beauchesne’s hospitalization states there are still bills and funeral arrangements to be made. Donations are still being accepted.

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Global News reached out to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for comment, and received the following statement:

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) takes seriously the safety of all those who are cared for and visit our facilities. In the interest of patient privacy and the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to share any further details of this particular incident.”

 

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