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by Rhonda Spivak August 9

A twenty year old Jewish young adult luckily escaped injury after three teenagers  who appeared to have Somali accents  swarmed around him on their bicycles, as one of them pulled a knife on him. The incident occurred on July 13, as the young Jewish man was walking home in River Heights near Ash Street.The incident took place as the youth entered a lane around midnight, that was not that well lit. The youth's cell phone was taken by the assailants.
"I am just relieved that he was not injured and is ok," his father told the Winnipeg Jewish Review noting that the police were informed.
"It's important for other parents in the area to know that this has happened,"the father said, noting that his son was unarmed, and believed that he  recognized the accents of his attackers as being Somalian."He thinks his attackers were Somali Muslims," the father indicated.
"A lot of young adults think that it's safe to walk  home late at night in River Heights and they walk at night especially if  they have had a drink or two and do not want to drive home. But walking home at night isn't safe, and my son won' t be doing this again.  My son is a big guy and he never thought that he would encounter this in River Heights, but clearly that's not the case.  I want parents to know about this incident because you need to be diligent to protect your kids from harm. It's better to pick them up by car later in the evening or have them take a taxi home rather  than risk them walking home at night and facing what my son had to face. He was upset about having his phone stolen. I told him we could replace his phone but he isn't replaceable."
The father reported that police told him that at times incidents such as these are preludes to home invasions. "When they pull a knife on your kid, the attackers can demand that the kid tell them where he lives and take them to the house , and then they burglarize the home."
There have been reports that some Somali asylum seekers have risked coming into Manitoba from the US border.
In an article in Global News in March 2017Lori Wilkinson, a sociology professor in Winnipeg, said even if there aren’t any criminal backgrounds among Somali asylum seekers, the risk is still present that newly arrived  people will be recruited by criminal gangs in their new country. (In Winnipeg in the late 1990s and early 2000s,  Winnipeg's Somali community gave rise to a violent gang which was in the national spotlight in 2005, when a 17-year-old bystander, Phil Haiart, was shot to death during a drug war between rival gangs.)
The local press has also reported in 2016 that break ins in River Heights have soared.
Also in River Heights, on July 13 a woman was attacked by a man while out on her evening jog.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.