An Etobicoke mother attacked with a hammer this week was still clinging to life in "grave" condition this morning, as her common-law husband made his first appearance in court facing attempted murder, abduction and weapons charges in the case.
Police were called to 7 Richgrove Dr. (just north of Martin Grove Road and Eglinton Avenue West) at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, April 15, where they found the young mother, 31, suffering obvious signs of trauma.
"The information officers received when they got to the scene is that the woman was walking with her baby in the parking lot when a man approached and struck her in the head with a hammer," said Const. Tony Vella.
The accused, a 35-year-old Brampton man, is then alleged to have grabbed the couple's two-and-a-half-year-old son and fled the scene in a black, four-door pick-up truck. He surrendered to Peel Regional Police, with the child, a short time later.
While her son was taken to SickKids hospital for a precautionary examination and released with no apparent injuries, the woman was rushed to Sunnybrook hospital with life-threatening injuries. She underwent emergency surgery, but remains in dire condition.
"The victim is still in critical condition on life support," Supt. Ron Taverner of 23 Division said at a media briefing Friday morning. "It's obviously pretty grave."
Taverner said police believe custody issues may have played a part in the altercation, but do not yet know what transpired between the two to bring on such a violent attack.
Surveillance footage captured at the scene of the crime, he noted, has helped police piece those missing pieces of information together.
"Our investigation has revealed that (the accused) was there for a particular purpose, to pick up the child in a prearranged meeting," he said. "Some type of dispute took place, obviously."
The names of the victim and her alleged attacker have not yet been released. The child is now with family.
Police are still looking for the weapon used in the attack, Taverner said. The investigation continues.
The accused has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon, weapons dangerous, and abduction. He was scheduled to appear in court at 2201 Finch Ave. W., on Friday at 10 a.m.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416â?'808â?'2300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416â?'222â?'TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).
- Cynthia Reason