Winnipeg police receive thousands of calls during busy weekend

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Police Service said the call centre received over 3,200 calls to 911 and nearly 1,700 non-emergency calls over the weekend.

The calls ranged from reports of shots being fired to assaults and assaults with a weapon.

On Friday, officers were called to a disturbance at the Main Street Project on Disraeli Street.

A man was being asked to leave by staff. As he was being asked to leave, he punched a worker in the face and knocking them unconscious. The worker hit their head on the concrete.

A second worker was also punched in the face but police said they defended themselves with a chair and hit the suspect with it, breaking his arm.

The man left the scene but was arrested a short time later.

He has been charged with aggravated assault and assault.

One person remains in hospital from the incident.

WEAPONS CALL

Police also responded to a weapons call Friday after receiving several reports that a man had a knife and was trying to stop vehicles in the area of Sargent Avenue and Sherbrook Street.

Police said when officers arrived, the man was challenging them to shoot him.

Eventually, police were able to unarm the man without injury and he is facing numerous charges including possessing a weapon.

ROBBERIES

On Saturday, officers responded to an armed robbery called around 7:30 p.m.

Police said a woman was in the area of Ellice Avenue and Carlton Street when she was approached by another woman who she didn’t know.

Police said the second woman grabbed the first woman’s purse and pulled out a box cutter and tried to slash her.

Central District Foot Patrol officers were in the area and ran to help.

The woman was arrested but the victim did not want to press charges.

Officers were also called to a robbery at a home on Young Street.

Police said a woman, who was intoxicated, demanded money from people at the home, who police said the woman knew.

They refused to give her money and she tried to hit one of the people in the home.

Police said she then grabbed a sword and threatened the people again. A man grabbed the sword from her and suffered cuts on his hands.

Police arrested the woman and she has been charged with robbery and other offences.

FIREARM CALL

Police were also called to an incident Saturday where there were reports that a man was flashing a gun on the street in the 400 block of Selkirk Avenue.

Officers found the man and took him into custody. Police said he was in possession of a BB gun that looked like a Beretta pistol.

He was charged with weapons-related offences.

Const. Rob Carver said it is so hard for police to identify when a gun is a BB gun or a real one.

“When someone says to me that it’s just a BB gun, I can tell you that as a gun guy who has handled guns for almost 30 years, I can’t tell and I might not be able to tell at two metres and I’m certainly not prepared to bet my life on it,” said Carver.

He added police are seeing a fair amount of Airsoft pistols, which are designed to be almost perfect copies of real guns.

Carver says officers must respond to those calls the same way if they were real guns because if they don’t someone could get killed.

On Sunday, police were once again called to the Main Street Project after a man came to the doors of the building and kicking the door.

Police said the door was damaged and the man pulled out a knife after entering the building.

The man left the building but was arrested by police and now faces weapon-related charges.

Officers were also called to 1000 block of Main Street on Sunday after getting several reports of a man in the street and it looked like he either had a gun or a knife.

He began asking people for meth. When officers arrived he was taken into custody and police found a knife in his waist belt.

He is facing weapons-related charges.

IMPAIRED DRIVING

Officers also responded to a call early Sunday morning after a vehicle was clocked going 165 km/hr while driving eastbound on Portage Avenue.

Police eventually found the vehicle crashed on Portage at Cavalier Drive. It had rolled and was on fire.

The driver was pulled out of the car and he was taken to hospital in unstable condition, but he was later upgraded.

Police said he has been charged with impaired driving.

None of the charges against any of the people arrested have been proven in court.

Carver said it is hard to compare the number of calls to other weekends or other years because there are so many factors involved. But he added the sheer number of calls was surprising.

“If you look at how many hours are there in a three day period and divide that by calls in and how many cops are likely working. We’re really busy.”

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