Woman charged after Winnipeg’s ‘Homeless Hero’ attacked
WINNIPEG (CP) — A woman has been charged with aggravated assault in an attack on Winnipeg’s “Homeless Hero” Faron Hall, who remained in hospital Sunday in stable condition.
Hall, 45, is the formerly homeless man who last year rescued two people from drowning in separate incidents on the Red River near the Esplanade Riel Bridge.
On Saturday, Hall was seriously beaten in the apartment where he was living after a verbal dispute turned violent.
A neighbour who would only identify himself as Bill said saw the aftermath of the attack and believes Hall sustained head injuries.
He said Hall appeared unconscious when he was being transported to ambulance on a stretcher.
“He wasn’t moving at all,” Bill said of Hall’s state as he was taken to ambulance.
He said Hall had been drinking in his suite with several acquaintances on Friday and Saturday.
“ They were partying pretty good about two o’clock (Saturday) when I left and I came back after 3:30 and there were cops around and I saw blood all over the floor of his suite,” Bill said.
Hall, an admitted alcoholic, had been undergoing rehabilitation treatment but relapsed, Bill said.
“He was sober for a bit after he came out of rehab — he’s a helluva good guy,” Bill said. “But he fell off the wagon, I guess you’d call it.”
Bill said Hall was also physically assaulted last Christmas by several people downtown.
“I feel bad for him, especially when he brings these characters in here,” Bill said.
Geraldine Ruth Colomb, 31, has been charged. Police were still looking for a male suspect.
Hall, who lived under the Esplanade Riel Bridge at the time, became known in the city as the “Homeless Hero” after rescuing a teenage who fell into the Red River last summer, and then a woman who fell into the same river last fall.
He was later awarded a bravery medal for his actions and an admirer arranged for him to move into the apartment.
At the time, Hall was modest in his response to the praise for his actions.
“I just treat people the way I want to be treated, which is with respect and understanding,” he said.
But he said he also hoped it would help people look at the homeless in a new light.
“Just respect (them), ’cause they’re people too. Show compassion. Not pity, ’cause I believe none of them want pity.”