Mother attacked at Saskatoon park says she feared for daughter's life
Saskatoon police are investigating a disturbing video that appears to show a group of young boys swarm and repeatedly attack a woman at a park playground.
Bonnie Halcrow is the woman seen in the footage. She told CTVNews.ca that she feared for the life of her 10-year-old child, who could only watch as her mother was beaten.
"All I could think about was 'I hope my daughter is OK'," Halcrow said over the phone. Halcrow, who lives in Manitoba, said she'd been visiting Saskatoon since Friday.
The video shot shows what appears to be at least four young boys kicking and punching a woman, who then falls to the ground. The attack continues as she tries to protect herself.
Some other boys can be seen and heard laughing in the background as the woman struggles to fight off several of the attackers pummeling her. She eventually manages to get up and walk away after the boys eventually disperse.
"Those kids were still yelling and screaming, while we were leaving the park," Halcrow said, adding this was the first time she and her daughter had visited the park and that she'd never seen her attackers before.
Halcrow says it all started when she chastised a group of boys who were harassing a man pushing around a fridge on a trolley through the park.
"They kept throwing sticks and stones at the man and I told those kids to quit doing that," she said. "I don’t stand for that."
But once they realized she had been recording everything on her phone, she said, they went after her.
"I have PTSD so when you've been attacked, you have that fight-or-flight instinct and you have two choices," she said.
"And I chose to fight. I could have ran but I don't think my daughter could outrun them. She was screaming and crying and she was so scared for her mom -- and I didn't shed a tear because I wanted to be strong for her."
She said she suffered several bruises and cuts throughout her whole body, including many across her back.
The footage was shot by a witness who told police he had been at Pleasant Hill Park reading a book on Monday evening, when the attack happened. He requested that CTV News not report his name, saying he fears for his safety.
The man told CTV News Saskatoon he had seen the same group of boys throwing stones at people walking by.
"I intervened, I was like, 'Stop, that's not a nice thing to do' and this kid said, 'You're not my dad'," the witness said.
"They stopped and I went and sat down but I didn't realize one of the ladies [nearby had] recorded it [on her phone]," he said. "A few minutes later, they went to this lady and started beating her up."
Once the attack was over, Halcrow recalled the man reassuring her that he'd caught the whole attack on camera. Both he and Halcrow sent their videos to police.
In an email to CTV News Saskatoon, police spokesperson Julie Clark said officers are now in contact with the victim and "will be looking into the matter."
Halcrow said she hopes police will increase the number of patrolling officers in the area and adequately deal with potential issues.
She said officers had actually been there five minutes before the attack, confronting the same group of boys, but it didn’t appear to be enough of a deterrent to make them leave the park.
Halcrow said that she intends on giving a formal statement to police on Wednesday morning but hasn’t decided whether she'll press charges yet.
With a file from Christy Somos