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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 Thursday, May 25, at 3:19 p.m. Niagara Regional Police officers responded to the Merritt Trail in the area of Martindale Road near Erion Road in St. Catharines, for reports of a stabbing that just occurred.

When they arrived, officers located the victim, a 47-year-old man St. Catharines.  The victim was suffering from apparent stab wounds and was taken by Niagara 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, a police news release says.

The victim and area witnesses provided officers with a suspect description that led to the identity of the suspect. The emergency task unit, with the assistance of negotiators, canine, community oriented response and engagement officers, traffic enforcement and patrol officers converged on the suspect's residence in the area of Vansickle Road North near Barton Street, in St. Catharines.  At 10:14 p.m. the suspect was arrested.

Richard Frank Stephen, 56 years, of St. Catharines has been arrested and charged with the assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

The investigation 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 26, via video link to the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the lead detective by calling 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.