Winnipeg man facing charges after attacking arborists with their own chainsaw

A 36-year-old Winnipeg man was arrested on Wednesday after he stole a chainsaw from a pair of arborists, threatened them with it, and then swung around at several passing cars and a cyclist. 

According to a press release from the Winnipeg Police Service, the incident started around 12:30 PM when the 36-year-old man approached the arborist who were working in the area and begin a conversation with them.

Without a reason, the Winnipeg man began to threaten the arborist with what they described as “an unknown large metal disc-like object.” The man then picked up a chainsaw the arborist had nearby and started walking around with it. 

The man then started the chainsaw and waved around throttling it. The arborist ran to their truck and the man started to attack the vehicle with the chainsaw. Police said the man then walked over to the Disraeli Freeway and started swinging the running chainsaw at passing cars and a cyclist, but did not hit any of them.

When police arrived the man was still wielding the chainsaw but eventually complied with officers and was safely taken into custody.

The 36-year-old man was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. He was also charged with one count of theft under $5000 in mischief under $5000.

Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Jay Murray said police still aren’t sure what prompted the incident, or whether alcohol, drugs or a mental health crisis may have been involved. He said the man was known to police before the chainsaw incident.