Walking home, in broad daylight, Barb Smith never thought for a minute she’d be the target of a crime.
Especially since she was walking between the downtown fire station and the Red Deer RCMP’s downtown detachment.
Smith was attacked after leaving her volunteer job helping immigrants to Canada with their citizenship and driver’s licence tests.
On Jan. 18, at about 1:10 p.m. she was heading towards the south hill when she noticed a man paying a little too much attention to her.
“I thought he was just a man wanting a woman to go to the bar with him,” said Smith. “I continued and kind of laughed about it.”
But he wasn’t interested in a drink. Instead, Smith said he pulled a blade from his shoe and slashed at the strap of her bag.
“I began to scream ‘help me, help me,’” she said. “He said to me only six words. He looked me in the eye and said ‘I am going to kill you.’
“Those were the only words he said. As soon as I felt my bag was gone I started to scream for help. That’s when he said it. I didn’t interact about the killing because I wouldn’t know what to say there anyway.”
First a lady driving past rolled her window down to see what the problem was, then a second person came over to offer help. The second person dialed 911. All the while, the suspect looked through her bag of books, emptying them into the snow behind the fire station.
“It traumatized me,” she said, adding she has had a lot of support from her friends and family since the incident.
“I just wouldn’t like to see someone else have to go through that, losing your bag or purse or your personal items. It just makes you feel terrible.”
The bag didn’t contain a money or credit cards. It was mostly for the books Smith uses to help new Canadians with the drivers’ licence and citizenship tests.
“It’s nothing anybody else would want.”
The man then fled the scene. Police came to the scene and interviewed her.
Red Deer RCMP said the investigation is ongoing. Police said the suspect is a Caucasian male about 1.83 metres (six feet) tall.