Scary Goings On On Scarth Street Mall

Scary ScarthI took this photo on the mall a few minutes ago. Early reports on Twitter indicate a stabbing incident with multiple victims.  (if you want a closer look, just click the photo to enlarge).

As someone who both lives and works downtown, I’ve got to say the area’s becoming sketchier by the day. It’s not unexpected, though, I guess, with most of the growth that Regina’s been experiencing the last while concentrated on the periphery and in booming bedroom communities. 

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

25 thoughts on “Scary Goings On On Scarth Street Mall”

  1. The CJME website has a good report. The stabbing was apparently random, and happened inside the Cornwall.

  2. This is spooky and creepy. I’d like to hear more about Greg’s observations of increasing sketchiness. I’ve felt particularly creeped out everywhere this week, even in my own backyard, but I sort of attributed that to the dark, blustery evening weather this week. Saturday night in particular, I’d say. My street was like a total I Am Legend wasteland. I went out to move my car and ran back in ASAP as no lights were on, no cars were a bout, and no person was in sight except for some brisk-walking hooded weird guy, even tho it was barely 9pm. Gawd, you don’t even hear the Chamber spin about what a great place this is to live anymore. Are the zombies taking over?

  3. Here’s the police report:

    At 6:01 p.m., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, two Regina Police Service officers at the Cornwall Centre alerted the Regina Police Communications Centre to a stabbing incident that had just occurred and requested EMS and additional police resources. The police officers were in the mall as part of their downtown patrol beat. As such, the officers were able to respond to the emergency immediately. Their preliminary investigation indicates an male youth entered the mall through the 11th Avenue doors, armed with a knife. It is alleged the suspect randomly attacked people in close proximity. There is no indication as to the suspect’s motive at this point. The two police officers challenged the male to drop the knife. Fortunately, the police officers were able to de-escalate the situation by giving direction; the suspect responded by throwing the knife at the officers, but once he was disarmed, he was taken into custody without further incident. With the suspect safely in custody, EMS was able to treat and then transport the victims to hospital. All four victims are male; their ages are not known at this time. Three of the victims were taken to hospital and one was treated at the scene and released. There is no known connection between the four victims or the victims and the suspect.

    The investigation is ongoing, with the involvement of Major Crimes and Forensic Identification. Charges are pending, but at this stage of the investigation there are no other details available for release.

  4. It’s more the indifference of the broader city to issues of homelessness and poverty that exist in Regina and the absolute lack of progress over the last seven or eight years in boosting residential development in the downtown.

    That was a central focus of downtown improvement initiatives that were discussed in 2007-08 to help bring some sense of activity to the downtown outside of weekday business hours. I don’t believe anything’s been done to move on that idea. If anything, the downtown’s likely even less populated than it was a few years ago. The destruction of the apartments on 17 block Hamilton to make way for a surface parking lot is one example of a loss of residential capacity.

    The downtown isn’t the only place in inner city Regina where the impact is felt. But again, as someone who has lived and worked in the downtown for eight years now, it’s a situation that seems to be deteriorating.

  5. Way to close a call. I hope those 4 survivors take all the time they need to heal from their injuries. Stupid attacker. First Calgary, now Regina. Stabbing a person at random is just bizarre.

  6. Well said, Bronymous. A number of assumptions are behind that throw-away second sentence of Mr. Beatty’s original post, assumptions that are as yet without backing. Is this knife attack the result of “homelessness and poverty”? We don’t know. The rumour mill, based solely on the perpetrator’s age and his use of a red bandana to cover his face, considers the stabbing as possibly a gang initiation, with the subtext being that the major SK gangs are aboriginal, and grow out of poverty, etc. An earlier assumption was that this might have been a random attack carried out by someone with mental-health issues, and that such folks are often homeless, etc. The idea that more residential development downtown might in some way provide an environment which would prevent incidents like this from happening requires an enormous leap of logic.

  7. Put the teen in adult court, 7 charge him with 4 counts of attempted murder.
    Lower the age of the YOA to 7.

  8. I`m really not sure if choosing to live in a city is a wise decision any more. Bought a property in small town Sask. a few yrs. back as a getaway place ( poor mans cabin ). Seems like I am going there more and more just to get away from the rat race in the city. Zero crime rate amazingly quiet, friendly neighbours who tell me to walk in to their garages to get a tool anytime I want plus taxes are dirt cheap. Why are we here?

  9. I live on 14th two blocks west of central park and it get’s scarier everyday. Walking to work is no longer a pleasant option to smell the flowers (snow)– it’s wondering if the things my mom warned me would happen to someone who lives down town were actually going to happen. I constantly feel like i am being watched (it’s eerie, and perhaps just a personal thing, but who knows).

    That being said, I used to live on 12th ave right by Winnipeg street and people were stabbed over there on the daily. One of my neighbors bled out on my door step (emergency help didn’t come for three hours). Families were scattered sleeping on moldy mattresses in the bushes until winter came and forced them to inhabit shelters or die. Brawls would ensue in the streets in midday. Prostitutes prowled, and as I said before, being stabbed was a regular thing. Keep in mind this isn’t even North Central (if you go to the City of Regina fbook page you can see Regina resident’s discriminatory outlook of North Central [see: picture of grey cup garbage aftermath]) .

    So basically, people only care about people getting stabbed when it inconveniences their shopping or regular routines.

    Everyone is saying LOCK THIS KID UP. THROW HIM IN THE SLAMMER. No one is considering the real issues: mental health and gang initiations, including the cycles and circumstances (and lack of resources) that cause situations like these. We need to take a good hard look at where we want this city heading, or this is only the beginning.

  10. I think it’s a general principle of urban planning that the more people you have living, working and engaging in recreation in an urban environment the safer and more social the environment will be both during peak business hours and in the evenings and on weekends. And there’s no shortage of evidence of the impact of poverty, homelessness, addiction and uncivil behaviour in downtown Regina. For some background here’s an excerpt from a Denver Urban Renewal Authority document:

    Frequently Asked Questions About Urban Renewal

    1. What is urban renewal?
    Urban renewal is primarily the act of revitalizing a failing urban area in order to restore economic vitality and improve the safety of the area, although the urban renewal statute is flexible and can be used for development, as well as redevelopment. Understanding that redeveloping urban areas is much harder and more expensive than new development, Colorado has empowered local authorities with certain tools, including eminent domain and tax increment financing, to encourage urban renewal activities. All 50 states have some form of urban renewal law.

    2. Why is urban renewal important?
    Urban renewal is critical to the success of local communities and the long-term prosperity of citizens living in urban areas. Without urban renewal, there would be no incentive for developers to tackle the challenges associated with redevelopment, and our deteriorating downtown areas would be subject to increased crime and safety problems, while continued growth on the fringes of communities would add to the problem of urban sprawl. But thanks to the urban renewal, cities and towns across the state have been able to save older parts of town and make significant improvements to their communities.

  11. This is going to happen more and more in Regina and Saskatoon. This is going to happen more and more as the income gap widens and hopelessness increases. Don’t expect sympathy in this bigoted land of indifference.

  12. Again, a lot of assumptions are being made.

    Mr. Beatty, are you familiar with the phrase “urban renewal is people removal”? You might want to temper enthusiasm for use of such tools as eminent domain with a careful consideration of the consequences of their use.

  13. Indy500: I know, all the angst & cost of big city living w/o any of the benefits. Regina reminds me now of what a mid-sized American city probably felt like in 1970…making some unstylish, hamfisted transition from sleepy 1950s postwar town to struggling with identity post ’60s upheaval. Regina’s been dead since they closed the Novia.

  14. Yo Talbot…the Novia, did we share a chips & gravy? The best ever, DT has not been the same since. Hate that Plaza…there, I said it.

  15. Coulda been, SD! Besides the menacing sense of unfriendliness that’s been pervading our city for at least 5 years, let’s talk about the plaza: I don’t know why anyone ever thought it was a good idea. I for one did not object, except to the insane consequence of losing a main downtown street forever. The consequence of that was losing the Novia Cafe and who knows what else. But a borderline-respected urban consultant comes in from Toronto and pitches this thing, it wins. Fine, but maybe she didn’t understand that when the going gets different for Reginans, Reginans go to the malls on the outskirts of town. They don’t say, “Okay, you win! We’ll shop, eat, laugh, and live downtown.” That doesn;t happen here. Besides, we’re under ice 7 months of the year. And in the summer, was it worth it? To see a few dozen people basking during our 6 weeks of summer while one food truck generator belches out stink like some plumber’s butt in the sun? That thing is one expensive ghost land. But besides that, this city was never great to begin with but now it’s unknown.

  16. I moved to Calgary in 1985. About 3 months later I had dinner with a cousin. She asked where do I live. I mentioned DT. She said “crap ,I have’nt been DT in 13 years”.. Mall in every neighborhood,megascreen theatre, library branch.. yup why go DT?

    Regina killed 13? movie screens in DT since 1985.. RPL is the hold out!

    Regina is just Calgary 25 years ago; but the people here are much nicer.

    http://globecinema.ca/?q=node/11

  17. Barb, don’t you remember that the YOA used to be 12, raised to 17. Murderers were punished to the fullest extent.

    There has to be something in place that will REALISTICALLY deter youth crime.

    What happens, in our prov / fed legal system now, if 1, or all 4 people had died?

  18. I do indeed, Ron, but your proposal to lower the age limit to 7 years is unrealistic. For one thing, although 7 is the age of reason, not all kids that age are rational as we understand the term. For another, where do you incarcerate an 8-year-old?

    Certainly, if a YO commits an “adult” crime (murder, sexual assault, weapons offences), trial as an adult is justified, in my view. For theft, vandalism and other property crimes, I think that the parents/guardians of the YO should be on the hook for compensation. If parents are penalized, they just might wake up and start doing their jobs.

    I read of an interesting YO case about 10-15 years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since. A kid in Regina got in trouble with the law, and at his court date, his father asked the judge for an injunction to prevent contact with his kid’s friend, who had also been charged in the same incident. Isn’t it a sad pass, when a father has to ask for an injunction to regulate his son’s behaviour? I don’t recall if he got it or not, but that he had to ask for one indicated both a breakdown in family discipline and a willingness to try to get it back. It comes down to the family, in the end.

  19. It’s upsetting that the downtown plan was supposed to encourage street-level commerce, and then the City allows Hill Tower 3 to feature a bank in on the main floor. That is not street-level commerce that helps downtown. Disappointing. So, the downtown gets sketchier and sketchier as the city grows but the options for entertainment & recreation stay the same (yet another open air stadium).

    Greg mentions the consultations from 2007-08. Those were optimistic, hopeful days when I felt like I could make this city my home forever. Since then, we added some crappy bike lanes (I was on the Bike Lane Advisory Committee! The plan was soooo much bigger), and a plaza that is so blazing hot during the days in the summer that nobody uses it (but those salsa classes in the evenings sure were popular). My excitement from those times is long gone.

    I think duck n cover hit the nail on the head.

  20. So if we had a vibrant downtown scene, oozing urban renewal, there wouldn’t be random incidents downtown? Huh. Pretty sure there are frequent stories of random acts of violence in downtown Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, every american city ever. Give an example of this Utopian downtown where crime is left to the lesser than areas.

    The core cause are socioeconomic conditions in the hood that lead people to joining gangs, and then leaving these areas to venture downtown and cause trouble, whether its robbing, dealing or gang initiations. Not subdivisions built in the suburbs, bro.

  21. Again, Bronymous points out the faulty logic in the original post, and its reiterations in a few other comments here, but again, assumptions are being made about the young offender that are taking us into a disturbing area, one where it is assumed that violent crime and gangsterism is always race-related. Do we really want to go there, folks?

  22. It’s not race-related, I said gangs are formed in the hood, which is pretty common for all cities. Other types of gangs exist from outside the hood, but they are less likely to have initiation acts like this, or have members this young. And if it was a random act by somebody not affiliated with a gang, it would point more towards mental health issues, not subdivision issues.

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