An incident at CF Polo Park mall on Friday night that led to four teen boys getting stabbed has Winnipeg police concerned.
Const. Jason Michalyshen told 680 CJOB’s The Start that he’s alarmed to be talking about youth crime more and more in the city.
The incident, police said, involved a 16-year-old suspect trying to rob a group of 13- and 14-year-old boys, and when he wasn’t successful, he allegedly attacked the group with a machete.
Two of the victims were taken to hospital as a result of the attack.
“The 16-year-old fixated on some property — and I can tell you at this point it appears to be a pair of running shoes,” Michalyshen said.
“An altercation between the initial victim, the 14-year-old, and the accused escalated, and a machete was pulled out.
“There’s no question… when we see 13 and 14 years involved in violent incidents like this, when a weapon like a machete is being pulled (and) ultimately used, it’s alarming.”
“It’s alarming to us — it raises my eyebrows every single time I see it.”
The suspect was arrested on Queen Street just under an hour later, and the machete was seized. Police later learned that he was also suspected in a string of violent robberies of pizza delivery drivers, as well as mischief to property incidents over the last few months.
In a statement Monday, mall owners Cadillac Fairview confirmed Friday’s incident and said they’re cooperating with law enforcement.
“Young people are being brazen with respect to these types of altercations,” Michalyshen said.
“There’s no simple answer, there’s no simple solution, with respect to why this is happening, and we all need to be alarmed by it. We certainly don’t just make the assumption that this is just another incident — it’s not.”
With the stabbings in such a public place, Michalyshen said the best way to respond, if you witness something similar, is to contact emergency personnel right away.
“We don’t want more (potential) victims involved. … I think the instinct is you want to help and you want to get involved, but the best suggestion I can provide is to get on that phone and call 911.”