Editor’s note: This story contains a graphic photo and describes a ruthless assault.
A man involved in the assault of 10-year-old Alicia Ndaya was taken into custody by Montreal police on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Canada Press, officers arrested a 21-year old man after several bystanders intervened and stopped the assault.
The suspect, identified as Tanvir Singh, has been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and possession of a weapon. Police media representatives say Singh will return to court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.
The alleged attacker has been referred to the psychological emergency service where he will be assessed. A decision will then be made on whether Singh should undergo a psychological evaluation.
According to social media posts from Miss Shiiyaa, who says she is Ndaya’s aunt, the attack occurred at lunchtime on Monday in Pointe-aux-Trembles.
Using the hashtag #JusticePourAlicia, Shiiyaa spread the news across her Instagram and Twitter accounts, looking for resources and legal advice to expedite the process.
“I write to you with trembling hands as myself and my family are living a nightmare,” says Shiiyaa’s French Instagram post. “Our baby of 10 years, who will be 11 soon, Alicia Ndaya was heading home for lunch at 11:30 am [on Monday] and her life and that of her mother (my sister) was changed.”
Shiiyaa says a man was staring at Alicia on her way home, and the 10-year-old smiled, “not knowing what he could do to her.” The aunt says the man walked over, put her to the ground, and started beating her, disfiguring her “beautiful angel face for, I repeat, no good reason!”
The SPVM says Alicia is in the hospital with “serious upper-body injuries,” mainly to her head. Police say the young girl’s condition is stable.
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According to Shiiyaa, witnesses nearby tried to intervene, and police officers patrolling the area were able to arrest the suspect after noticing a large crowd gathering.
On Tuesday morning, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the “terrible assault” is “absolutely unacceptable” and that “no child should be subject to it.”
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said Tuesday morning she had seen the image of Ndaya in hospital.
Shiiyaa says she wants justice for her niece and for all other victims “of this kind of sickness.”
With files from Daily Hive’s Ty Jadah