Winnipeg Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - PHO­TOS BY CHARLES TWEED / BRAN­DON SUN mike.mcin­tyre@freep­ Twit­ter: @mikem­cin­tyrewpg

The grand­fa­ther said he’s tried putting fear into the boy — re­lat­ing his own lengthy his­tory with the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. He was in­volved in a deadly stab­bing in the 1970s and ended up do­ing 12 years in prison for man­slaugh­ter. He’s been in and out of cus­tody many times since then, most re­cently in 2009 — when his grand­son was five years old — fol­low­ing a do­mes­tic in­ci­dent with his es­tranged wife, the boy’s grand­mother.

“I tried talk­ing to him, telling him you can’t be do­ing this. Only two things are go­ing to hap­pen if you carry on this type of life — you’re go­ing to end up dead or you’re go­ing to end up in jail,” he told the Free Press in an ex­ten­sive in­ter­view last fall.

For now, it’s jail. The boy is be­ing held in cus­tody on sev­eral charges, in­clud­ing theft over $5,000 and dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Nei­ther of the boy’s bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents has played much of a role in his life, the grand­fa­ther says. His son — the boy’s fa­ther — has been linked in court to Win­nipeg’s gang and drug trade and sur­vived a shoot­ing in which a friend was killed.

The boy’s mother cur­rently faces a long list of charges re­lated to the sex trade, along with drug and weapons of­fences. She gave per­mis­sion for the grand­par­ents to care for her son days af­ter he was born. The grand­par­ents had taken in the boy’s older brother just af­ter he was born two years ear­lier.

Both are in CFS care.

The boy’s alarm­ing his­tory be­came an is­sue at the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture last year. Man­i­toba Fam­i­lies Min­is­ter Scott Field­ing said in Au­gust 2016 the govern­ment was look­ing at so­lu­tions.

“We’re ob­vi­ously go­ing to work with the au­thor­i­ties. We need to de­velop a plan for this in­di­vid­ual,” he said at the time.

The boy had a men­tal-health as­sess­ment done and was as­sessed as hav­ing at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and fe­tal al­co­hol spec­trum dis­or­der, which makes suc­cess­ful treat­ment dif­fi­cult. The Free Press has spo­ken with sev­eral lo­cal ex­perts in crim­i­nal jus­tice and foren­sic psy­chol­ogy. All agree the case is unique and alarm­ing.

“This is some­thing that should scare the hell out of so­ci­ety,” Steven Kohm, head of the crim­i­nal jus­tice depart­ment at the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg, said last year.

“It’s al­most like this is a worst-case sce­nario, a cul­mi­na­tion of all the fears sur­round­ing the child-wel­fare sys­tem and th­ese lost kids. It seems ev­ery­thing has failed.”

The grand­fa­ther be­lieves the fu­ture can be sal­vaged. He wants to move out of Man­i­toba and get a fresh start in an­other prov­ince should he ever re­gain cus­tody from CFS, which has a tem­po­rary guardian­ship or­der.

Any cus­tody bat­tle will take a back­seat to the court bat­tle that looms fol­low­ing the bus in­ci­dent in Bran­don.

A smashed car rests at the in­ter­sec­tion of 10th Street and Princess Av­enue in Bran­don Oct. 6. Po­lice al­lege a 12-year-old boy with a long crim­i­nal his­tory stole the car and hit a tran­sit bus, send­ing it into a build­ing (be­low).

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