4 04 2008

Arrest cheers disabled beating victim

By Kevin Crush, Sun Media

The Edmonton Sun


A disabled woman says she’s feeling safer after cops charged a man for a vicious attack against her.

“I’m very happy,” said 41-year-old Heidi Janz, who has cerebral palsy.

The wheelchair-bound Janz was attacked in her home near 79 Avenue and 96 Street around 1 p.m. on Jan. 28.

Police said someone wearing a balaclava broke into her unit in the Creekside condo complex.

When she confronted the man, she was viciously assaulted, suffering puncture wounds and broken bones.

The intruder took off with her purse, including her keys, cellphone and credit cards.

She was found slumped over in her wheelchair later that day by her father.

Neighbours did not report hearing any unusual sounds.

Janz underwent surgery on one of her shoulders but has since nearly recovered.

Kenneth Peter MacWatt, 40, has been charged with break and enter and committing a robbery, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon, wearing a disguise, and four counts of breach of recognizance.

He is in police custody until his court date on April 18.

MacWatt is well known to police.

He served seven years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault of a 60-year-old disabled woman in Inuvik.

He was released from prison last year and police warned the public when he declared he was moving to Edmonton.

Police said the assault on Janz was random and the intruder likely got into the building through a door that was not securely locked.

Janz is a well-known scholar and playwright whose work has been featured in the Fringe Festival.

Not letting cerebral palsy get in her way, it took her 18 years to receive her English doctorate from the University of Alberta.




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