Arrest made in early morning stabbing of woman

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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RNC Const. Suzanne FitzGerald speaks with reporters. Telegram photo

Police have charged a 19-year-old man in connection with what they say was a random stabbing that took place in the east end of the city early Thursday morning.

The teenager was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon as part of an RNC investigation that had been ramped up because of concerns for public safety.

The 22-year-old female victim had been walking on Torbay Road in the area of Elizabeth Avenue around 5:30 Thursday morning. Police allege the man - whom she didn't know - stabbed her as she crossed paths with him, and ran away. The woman was able to flag down a passing motorist, who called 911.

Paramedics treated the victim at the scene and brought her to hospital, where she remains, with non-life-threatening injuries.

It's believed the attacker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

RNC Const. Suzanne FitzGerald told members of the media Friday the arrest had come after an investigation involving the major crime and forensic units, as well as other specialized departments, which she wouldn't name.

The victim had been working with a forensic artist to come up with a composite drawing of her attacker, which she had previously described as being between 5'5" to 5'7" in height, about 130 pounds, with an oval face, wide-spaced eyes and possibly dark hair.

As for how the arrest came about, FitzGerald couldn't divulge many details, since the investigation into the incident is continuing.

Collective effort

"It was a collective effort with criminal intelligence," she said. "Specialized units as well as the sheer volume of officers out canvassing, not only to residents but commercial businesses and video surveillance and research, looking through our RNC database."

FitzGerald said the investigation was part of an enhanced police response, due to the random nature of the alleged attack.

"Typically, when we're looking at an investigation involving violence, we're looking to see if there are any additional potential victims that could be impacted. We not only have to consider, as a policing agency, the victim, but also any potential victims in terms of public safety," she said. "Once it's confirmed that there may potentially be a public safety concern overall, that will then dictate the response and resources that are allocated to that particular investigation. This was one of those incidences where we identified a public safety concern and responded by putting the necessary resources in place to have a successful resolution."

The accused man will appear in provincial court in St. John's this morning. The police investigation into the incident is continuing.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: RNC Const.

Geographic location: Torbay Road, Elizabeth Avenue, St. John's

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  • Allison
    February 04, 2012 - 15:17

    The RNC receives a lot of flack for when they mess up, but they should be commended on such a quick arrest. They have responded with professionalism and skill on a number of the major crimes in the last few years. Keep up the good work RNC

    • Ingrid
      February 04, 2012 - 16:03

      Let's hope they arrested the right person.