WARNING: This story incorporates a graphic picture and outline of a extreme harm.
A safety guard on the Walmart in Thompson says she is fortunate to be alive after being attacked with a buying cart by an alleged shoplifter.
Manju Chopra, 63, was at work on Wednesday night when a person tried to steal meat from the shop within the northern Manitoba metropolis, she stated.
Because the alleged shoplifter tried to depart the shop, one other safety guard requested the person to return the objects or pay for them, however he refused, stated Chopra.
That is when issues turned violent, because the alleged shoplifter attacked the opposite safety guard, she stated.
“I attempted to guard [the other] guard,” she informed CBC on Saturday. “I do not know if … [the alleged shoplifter] was intoxicated or no matter, however he needed to kill my colleague, and I simply went out to assist him out.”
WATCH | Assault caught on digicam:
Kitana Garson, who lives in Break up Lake and does loads of her buying in Thompson, was exterior the Walmart when the incident occurred and watched it unfold.
“I seen them combating. At first they have been exchanging punches, the [male] safety guard and the man, after which swiftly a cart comes flying out of nowhere and hits the woman [Chopra] proper within the head,” she stated.
“She was badly injured,” with a big gash that was bleeding profusely, stated Garson.
‘I may have died’
Garson and others rushed to assist Chopra and put strain on the wound, as others known as 911 and waited for police and paramedics to reach.
“Due to them I’m alive. I may have died,” stated Chopra, including there was “loads of blood everywhere in the flooring.”
“There may have been a mind hemorrhage. Thank God I am alive.”
She was taken to the hospital the place she obtained 17 staples to shut the wound on her head.
Her 35-year-old colleague was handled for his accidents on the scene.
RCMP stated when officers arrived, round 7 p.m., witnesses have been in a position to level out the suspect, who tried to run away.
“All of the bystanders that have been round went chasing after him,” Garson stated.
When police caught him, he kicked one of many officers, RCMP stated in a information launch. Individuals close by once more got here to assist, however the man continued to be combative, police stated.
He was finally arrested and brought to the hospital as a precaution, and continued yelling and swearing, together with threatening an officer, the RCMP information launch stated.
The 32-year-old man from Break up Lake was charged with aggravated assault, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, uttering threats and assault.
Outpouring of assist and love
Chopra has been working as a safety guard in Thompson for 4 years and was beforehand stationed on the Liquor Mart.
Individuals locally stated she’s turn into a beloved member of the realm is type to everybody she meets.
“She’s fairly well-known. She’s fairly good and particularly good [to] the little youngsters that come round and speak to her,” stated Garson.
Kristyne Ford, who lives in Thompson, is associates with Chopra and echoed the sentiment.
“She’s simply so beautiful and he or she’s such a pleasant, real particular person,” Ford stated. “You wish to be round somebody like her on a regular basis. She loves everyone.”
Ford stated it was upsetting to listen to what occurred to Chopra, who she stated is at all times outgoing and sometimes helps maintain any hassle within the space at bay.
“For that to occur and for her to inform me that she was completely happy to guard her different guard … my coronary heart broke for her. Manju is an excellent particular person.”
Chopra stated she is overwhelmed with the love and assist she has obtained from the neighborhood.
“Persons are coming [by my house], they’re sending a message on Fb,” she stated. “They love me. I like them, all of them.”
She went again to work two days after the assault, the place she stated folks have been checking in to ensure she is OK.
“They’re giving me a hug. They’re crying. I stated, ‘Why are you crying? I am alive. Do not cry for me,'” she stated with a small chuckle. “They provide me unconditional love.”
Violence, security issues
The assault on Chopra is not the one incident police have responded to on the Thompson Walmart lately.
Final month, RCMP have been known as after an individual was assaulted inside the shop.
The incident occurred shortly earlier than 10:30 a.m. on March 24, when two girls approached a 19-year-old girl within the retailer, an RCMP spokesperson stated in an e mail to CBC Information.
One of many girls assaulted the teenager and sprayed her with bear mace, RCMP stated. A 20-year-old girl was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon.
On social media, some Thompson residents stated they have been elevating security issues within the space the place Chopra was attacked for months, and stated the scenario has solely gotten worse since a new Liquor Mart opened subsequent door.
“You have to carry on guard while you’re round there,” stated Garson. There are sometimes “folks standing round attempting to attain a drink and attempting to attain some cash,” she stated.
She tries to keep away from buying there when doable as a result of she does not really feel protected.
“We attempt to rush by way of and store as quick as we are able to after which take off,” she stated. “Generally they prefer to observe us and attempt to ask for cash.”
Ford additionally stated it isn’t unusual to see folks hanging across the doorways and the parking zone and coming as much as clients asking them for cash whereas they’re placing their groceries of their automotive.
“It is a large downside.… There’s much more transient folks hanging round. There’s much more violence and I feel there’s much more alcohol,” stated Ford, including she’s seen folks consuming and combating within the parking zone.
“It is simply not a protected place for anyone,” she stated. “Persons are indignant. Persons are mad, very mad.”
CBC Information has reached out to each Walmart and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries for remark.