Halton Police chief ‘appalled’ by violent Ottawa attack that left officers with serious injuries


Published September 26, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Attack, Ottawa ByWard Market Halton officers
Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner said he was "shocked and appalled" after two local officers were attacked early Sunday morning in Ottawa. (Photo: Halton Regional Police)

Calling it a “cowardly attack,” Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner released a statement Tuesday morning (Sept. 26) about a weekend assault in Ottawa that left two local off-duty officers with serious injuries.

The two Halton police officers were attacked around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday in the ByWard Market on York Street while heading back to a hotel they were staying at with their families.

Members of Halton police were in the nation’s capital along with colleagues from law enforcement agencies across the country to remember and honour the many officers who were killed in the line of duty in Canada this past year.

“I am both shocked and appalled that, during our time there, a number of individuals in the ByWard Market area assaulted a group of our off-duty officers in what was, by all indications, a violent, unprovoked and cowardly attack,” said Tanner in his statement.

The officers “sustained very serious injuries as a result of this heinous act,” he added.

Both officers were taken to hospital, where one remains with head injuries while the second officer received stitches.

The Halton officers were not in uniform when they were assaulted and it’s unclear what the motive was for the attack or if the attackers even knew the two were police officers.

Ottawa Police, who are investigating the assault, say the officers were jumped from behind by several people who appeared to be carrying weapons of some type.

Mikkhul Milford, 25, of Ottawa, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault. He is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.

Ottawa Police are continuing the investigation. Further suspects may be identified, and more criminal charges may be laid, according to police.

Tanner thanked Ottawa Police for their support and investigative work.

“I am optimistic and expect that all those responsible will be identified and brought before the criminal justice system in due course,” he said. “We are also deeply appreciative of the Ottawa Paramedic Service and to hospital staff for the exemplary care each has provided to our officers.

“As a result of their efforts, we are hopeful that both will make swift and full recoveries.”

Halton Police Board chair Jeff Knoll also thanked Ottawa Police and said board members were “all shocked and saddened” to learn that the two officers had been violently attacked while off-duty.

“This past year has been unprecedented as it relates to violence against police officers across Canada, and we have seen many pay the supreme sacrifice during recent months,” said Knoll.

Tanner also thanked people for the support the officers and Halton Police have received the last couple of days.

“Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to express our deep gratitude to police services, police associations, community leaders and members of the public who have reached out with messages of support and well wishes for our members,” he said.

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