WARNING: The details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
Edmonton police say a mother appeared to be moments from death when officers rushed in to stop an attack Wednesday afternoon.
A 30-year-old man is facing several charges, including aggravated assault, in connection to the violent attack on a woman who was picking up her three children from a central Edmonton daycare, police said in a news release Friday.
The woman was standing outside the daycare near 115 Street and 105 Avenue and waiting for the front door to be unlocked at around 3:45 p.m., when police said she was approached by a man.
It was reported to police that a man — believed to be impaired — attempted to forcibly pull a backpack off the woman’s shoulders.
Police said she held onto the backpack, as the suspect unzipped it and attempted to reach inside.
The two then began to struggle, and police said the man allegedly grabbed the woman’s hair and threw her down, repeatedly smashing her head against the sidewalk.
Police were already in the area, responding to a different call allegedly involving the same man trying to break into vehicles in the area.
“Two of our members spotted the male suspect choking the woman on the ground and rushed to her aid,” Insp. Erik Johnson said.
Officers came across the struggle, arriving to find the suspect sitting on top of the woman while allegedly strangling her into unconsciousness.
“Another two minutes and we may have been talking about a homicide today.
“The incident in itself is extremely disturbing and was exacerbated by the fact two of her young children watched the entire incident through the front door of the daycare,” Johnson said.
Paramedics treated and transported the woman to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said she has since been released from hospital.
Rockie Rabbit, 30, has been charged with aggravated assault, choking to overcome resistance, robbery and breach of conditions.
Police are expected to speak further about the attack on Friday afternoon.
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