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Man on e-bike stabbed during confrontation on Merritt Trail

Police say the victim and suspect were not known to one another
Niagara Regional Police Service file photo

On May 25th, 2023, at 3:19 p.m. Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers assigned to 1 District (St. Catharines / Thorold) responded to the Merritt Trail located in the area of Martindale Road near Erion Road, in the City of St. Catharines for reports of a stabbing that just occurred.

Upon arrival, officers located the victim, a 47-year-old male from the City of St. Catharines.  The victim was suffering from apparent stab wounds and was subsequently transported by Niagara Emergency Medical Service (NEMS) paramedics to an out-of-town trauma centre for advanced medical care.  The victim has since been released from hospital and continues to recover from his injuries at home.

The victim and area witnesses provided officers with an initial suspect description that ultimately led to the identity of the suspect becoming known.  The Emergency Task Unit with the assistance of Negotiators, Canine, Community Oriented Response and Engagement Officers, Traffic Enforcement Officers and 1 District Uniform Patrol Officers converged on the suspects residence located in the area of Vansickle Road North near Barton Street, in the City of St. Catharines.  At 10:14pm the suspect was arrested.

Richard Frank Stephen, 56 years, of St. Catharines has been arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

• Assault causing bodily harm

• Assault with a weapon

Investigation has determined the victim was operating an e-bike on the Merritt Trail when a confrontation took place with the suspect.  The victim was assaulted and fell off the e-bike onto the ground.  Once on the ground the victim was stabbed with a knife by the suspect.  The victim and suspect were not known to one and other.

Stephen remains in police custody and is being held for a bail hearing scheduled to take place later today, May 26th, 2023, via video link to the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009367.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477.  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.