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Friday, 22 August 2008

Four Vigilante Assaults !?

Earlier today on newwinnipeg.com the topic of whether or not the Winnipeg mother who attacked a man for allegedly trying to molest her daughter should be charged, or not, came up. Something interesting happened in that, at times, folks were talking at cross purposes because there were a number of different versions of the story, depending upon what news source they used.

The key in many people's minds would be whether or not the mother went to his door avec pipe and gave him a beating OR if the man stabbed her and, during the struggle, she grabbed the pipe during the struggle.

Different versions of a story from different media outlets is not uncommon. What's interesting, in this case, is that "when the pipe appeared" is a pretty key detail to this story to not worry about too much. Also, the mother made herself freely available to the media for interviews so it wasn't like the outlets were getting the information third hand from neighbours.

Over the lunch hour I did a scan of four media outlets and what they had written, excerpts of the stories, and links to the original articles are below. It's interesting to see the variations in either the mother's story or the reporters interpretation:

CTV Winnipeg

“She told CTV News she armed herself with a pipe and went looking for him.

A violent confrontation broke out, leaving the mother injured in the side of the neck.

Police say once the man recovers he will be facing charges. They told CTV News charges against the mother are unlikely. “

Winnipeg Sun

“Nelson said the man stabbed her twice on her neck and was swinging the knife "wildly" at her during the confrontation on the street, so she grabbed a pipe to fight back and try to disarm him. Nelson said she knocked the man to the ground, allowing Brendon to grab the knife, and hit him twice in the head with the pipe.

Nelson said the fight happened when she found the man and told him she was going to call police. Nelson said she was attacked when she was walking away."

Winnipeg Free Press

"I must have freaked out. I caught him right there and began beating him with a pipe... He got up and ran.

"Then he stabbed me here," Nelson said, motioning towards a large gauze pad on her upper chest near her neck. “My (17-year-old) son was scratched on his back. I thought he's out to kill someone. I didn't even know he had a knife.

CBC Manitoba

When the mother heard the story, she ran outside, picked up a pipe on the street and confronted her daughter's alleged assailant, a man she said she knew from around the neighbourhood, who was still in the park.

The woman alleged he stabbed her in the neck, and she started hitting him with the pipe.

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