Man arrested after harassing pedestrians downtown attacked 2 people in March, Winnipeg police say

A man has been charged in connection with two unprovoked downtown Winnipeg assaults last month after police say they spotted him “harassing pedestrians” at a downtown intersection on Thursday afternoon.

Aaron Laquette, 31, is charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault in connection with assaults on Princess Street on March 30, police said Friday in a news release.

Officers recognized and arrested him on Thursday afternoon while investigating reports a person was “harassing pedestrians for an extended period” at Graham Avenue and Smith Street, police said.

Laquette is accused of striking a 56-year-old man in the upper body in an unprovoked assault while he walked down Pacific Avenue at Princess Street at 8 a.m. on March 30. A Good Samaritan took the man to hospital, police said.

Shortly after, a second person was assaulted on Princess, police said.

Investigators don’t know who the second person was, but in a previous news release, they said he fell momentarily, then stood up and ran to safety. 

The person responsible for the attacks fled before officers arrived, police said.

Laquette was later identified as a suspect in the March 30 assaults.

He was known to police at the time of his arrest this week, and court documents show he has been convicted for numerous offences dating back to 2010.

He was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in 2014 and 2022, and convicted for three counts of robbery with a weapon for offences in 2014 and 2018, according to court documents.

He was also found guilty this spring for an assault that happened in 2022, the court documents say.

Police are asking anyone with information about the March 30 assaults, including video footage, to contact investigators at 204-986-6316 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.

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