Police arrest second person in attack on Winnipeg’s ’Homeless Hero’

Police still haven’t been able to interview Winnipeg’s “Homeless Hero” about the vicious beating that put him in hospital.

WINNIPEG — Police still haven’t been able to interview Winnipeg’s “Homeless Hero” about the vicious beating that put him in hospital.

Const. Jacqueline Chaput said Faron Hall, 45, has been upgraded to serious condition, but he is stable. He hasn’t been well enough to talk to investigators.

Police have arrested two people in the attack and don’t expect to make any further arrests, she added. Investigators don’t know what exactly prompted the beating.

“When he’s going to be well enough to speak to investigators, we don’t know yet,” Chaput said Monday.

Police say three people were “socializing” at a downtown Winnipeg apartment Saturday afternoon when a fight broke out. Hall was beaten, allegedly with a piece of furniture, and left with severe injuries. He was found by apartment security staff, who then contacted the police.

Geraldine Ruth Colomb, 31, was arrested shortly thereafter and was charged with aggravated assault.

Police were investigating another matter downtown when they made a second arrest Sunday. Darrell Walter Longclaws, 31, has been charged with aggravated assault and breach of probation.

Hall, an admitted alcoholic, rose to prominence after saving two people from drowning on separate occasions last year. He was living on the banks of the Red River in Winnipeg last May when he saw a teenage boy jump from a nearby bridge. Hall dived in to save the teen who was crying for help.

“I just threw off my backpack and ran down and dived in,” said Hall at the time. “He was fighting me and I told him, ’Don’t fight me! I’m trying to save you. Otherwise we’re both going to drown.”’

Hall came to the rescue again in the fall when he saved a woman, but was unable to rescue a man, after they both fell in the river.

Hall is originally from Dakota Tipi First Nation but mostly grew up in foster care in Winnipeg.

His sister Kristi Hall, 36, was stabbed to death in a random attack in July 2007.

He had been homeless for seven years, sleeping year-round along the river bank, before he was hailed as a hero last year. He was showered with gifts that included season tickets to Winnipeg’s minor-league baseball team and bus fare to see his father on a reserve west of the city. He was also set up with housing and entered a rehabilitation program.

He donated $1,000 to a homeless shelter.

It’s not the first time Hall has been assaulted. He has said he was attacked on Christmas Eve, beaten by people he said had recognized him from media stories.