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STREET VIOLENCE WATCH
Sunday, April 17 2016
BCAA'S: The Building Blocks Of Muscle!
By Contributing Writer
 
Branched Chain Amino Acids are among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program.
WHAT ARE BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA'S)?
Branch Chain Amino Acids are the "Building Blocks" of the body. They make up 35% of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth and development to take place. Eight are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition). Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies, they are part of the enzyme & hormonal system; they build RNA and DNA and they carry oxygen throughout the body.
INGREDIENT GUIDES: BCAA
Proteins are made up of amino acids. The difference between full spectrum amino acids and regular protein powders is that protein powders have fillers, sweeteners, dyes and extra carbohydrates. More than 20 amino acids are needed to build muscle, red blood cells, and hundreds of other molecules that sustain life. Your body can produce all but 8-10 amino acids which must be obtained through your diet or supplementation. A complete amino acid profile is needed by your body to reach your maximum fitness potential.
THE FUNCTION OF BCAA'S
They act as nitrogen carriers which assist the muscles in synthesizing other amino acids needed for anabolic muscle action. In simpler terms, BCAA's combine simpler amino acids to form a complex whole muscle tissue. In this action, BCAA's stimulate production of insulin, the main function of which is to allow circulating blood sugar to be taken up by the muscle cells and used as a source of energy. This insulin production promotes amino acid uptake by the muscle.
HOW DO BCAA'S WORK?
During intense weight training the body is normally in a highly catabolic condition. At this time glycogen stores are being rapidly depleted and the liver in turn must synthesize glucose by a conversion of L-Alanine. Alanine makes up over half of the amino acid content released from muscles during exercise.
The release of BCAA's is generally recognized as the signal to the body to stop protein syntheses in the muscles, especially during times of stress. Providing the Branch Chain Amino Acids, especially during those times of stress may profoundly affect this signal and allow protein synthesis to continue onward.
IMPORTANT CO-FACTORS IN BCAA SUPPLEMENTATION
As with most nutrition, many bodybuilders overlook the importance of combining and inclusion of co-factors when supplementing. Below is a list of supplements that play a part in increasing the effectiveness of BCAA supplementation.
CHROMIUM
The most desired form is chromium picolinate which functions to increase the effectiveness of insulin, a hormone composed of 91 amino acids, manufactured in the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is the most essential link in the muscle building chain. Chromium enhances the rate at which protein is synthesized by the body, and promotes intracellular uptake of free amino acids from the blood and assimilation by the cells. It retards the rate of protein degradation by the body within the cells. This is an absolute must to include in a quality Branch Chain Amino formula. 
ZINC/VITAMIN B-6
Zinc is the regulator of insulin. The natural co factor to this element is Vitamin B-6. As Vitamin B-6 is an important intermediary in amino acid metabolism; those athletes whose diets are high in amino acids need additional amounts from the body. The transport of amino acids in the cellular interior is most dependent on an adequate supply of Vitamin B-
 
VITAMIN B-12
Another important water soluble nutrient that must be present in the protein metabolism and in the synthesis of amino acids.
BLOTIN
This all important member of the B family has an important role in protein synthesis and the manufacture of glycogen.
HOW MUCH AND WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE AMINO ACIDS?
With BCAA's 4-8 grams before a work out and 4-8 grams after is optimal. Lesser amounts are effective but if increased performance and recovery are needed a higher dosage is more effective. Taking BCAA's immediately before or during a strenuous workout or cardio session will increase performance.
Taking them after with a post work out meal or recovery drink will help speed the replacement of BCAA's in the muscles, speeding muscle recovery and preventing overtraining. For optimum results in supplement form, it is desirable to take your BCAA's separately from the other amino acid groupings for the fact that they totally dominate the race for entry into the bodies' systems.
CONCLUSION
Branched Chain Amino Acids are among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program. Although these supplements have been around for a long time and the scientific understanding in the exercise performance benefits of BCAA supplementation is rich, many people don't know exactly how they exert their effects or how vital BCAA supplementation is.
One thing is definitely sure though, that anyone who is looking to put on more muscle or gain more energy naturally without any side effects should very seriously consider taking BCAA's.
REFERENCES
1. Expert Fitness "Amino Acids" 2003.
2. Elite Image Nutrition "What Are Branch Chain Amino Acids?" 2003.
3. Gastmann "Overtraining and the BCAA hypothesis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" 30, 1173-8 (1998).
4. Protein Customizer "BCAA'S" 2003.
Posted by: Chris AT 09:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 14 2016

 

 

13 THINGS MENTALLY TOUGH PEOPLE DON'T DO.   Amy Morin

 

1. They don't waste time feeling sorry for themselves.

"Feeling sorry for your self is self-destructive," she writes. "Indulging in self-pity hinders living a full life."

It wastes time, creates negative emotions, and hurts your relationships.

The key is to "affirm the good in the world, and you will begin to appreciate what you have," Morin writes. The goal is to swap self-pity with gratitude.

2. They don't give away their power.

People give away their power when they lack physical and emotional boundaries, Morin writes. You need to stand up for yourself and draw the line when necessary. 

If other people are in control of your actions, they define your success and self-worth. It's important that you keep track of your goals and work towards them. 

Morin uses Oprah Winfrey as an example of someone with a strong grip on their power. Winfrey grew up dealing with poverty and sexual abuse, but "she chose to define who she was going to be in life by not giving away her power," she says.

3. They don't shy away from change.

There are five stages of change, Morin writes: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

Following through with each of the five steps is crucial. Making changes can be frightening, but shying away from them prevents growth. "The longer you wait, the harder it gets," she says, and "other people will outgrow you."

4. They don't focus on things they can't control.

"It feels so safe to have everything under control, but thinking we have the power to always pull the strings can become problematic," Morin writes. 

Trying to be in control of everything is likely a response to anxiety. "Rather than focusing on managing your anxiety, you try controlling your environment," she says. 

Shifting your focus off the things you can't control can create increased happiness, less stress, better relationships, new opportunities, and more success, Morin writes. 

5. They don't worry about pleasing everyone.

Oftentimes, we judge ourselves by considering what other people think of us, which is the opposite of mental toughness.

Morin lists four facts about constantly trying to be a people-pleaser: It's a waste of time; people-pleasers are easily manipulated; it's OK for others to feel angry or disappointed; and you can't please everyone.

Dropping your people-pleasing mindset will make you stronger and more self-confident.

6. They don't fear taking calculated risks.

People are often afraid to take risks, whether it's financial, physical, emotional, social, or business-related, Morin writes. But it comes down to knowledge.

"A lack of knowledge about how to calculate risk leads to increased fear," Morin writes.

To better analyze a risk, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the potential costs? •What are the potential benefits?
How will this help me achieve my goal?
What are the alternatives?
How good would it be if the best-case scenario came true?
What is the worst thing that could happen, and how could I reduce the risk it will occur?

7. They don't dwell on the past.

The past is in the past. There's no way to change what happened, and "dwelling can be self-destructive, preventing you from enjoying the present and planning for the future," Morin writes. It doesn't solve anything and can lead to depression, she writes. 

There can be a benefit to thinking about the past, though. Reflecting on the lessons learned, considering the facts rather than the emotions, and looking at a situation from a new perspective can be helpful, she says.

8. They don't make the same mistakes over and over.

Reflecting can ensure you don't repeat your mistakes. It's important to study what went wrong, what you could have done better, and how to do it differently next time, Morin writes.

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for the mistake and create a thoughtful, written plan to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

9. They don't resent other people's success.

Resentment is like anger that remains hidden and bottled up, Morin writes. 

Focusing on another person's success will not pave the way to your own, since it distracts you from your path, Morin writes. Even if you become successful, you may never be content if you're always focusing on others. You may also overlook your talents and abandon your values and relationships, she says. 

10. They don't give up after the first failure.

Success isn't immediate, and failure is almost always an obstacle you will have to overcome. "Take, for example, Theodor Giesel — also known as Dr. Seuss — whose first book was rejected by more than 20 publishers," Morin writes. And now Dr. Seuss is a household name.

Thinking that failure is unacceptable or that it means you aren't good enough does not reflect mental strength. In fact, "bouncing back after failure will make you stronger," Morin writes.

11. They don't fear alone time.

"Creating time to be alone with your thoughts can be a powerful experience, instrumental in helping you reach your goals," Morin writes. Becoming mentally strong "requires you to take time out from the busyness of daily life to focus on growth."

Here are some of the benefits of solitude Morin lists in her book:

-Solitude at the office can increase productivity.
-Alone time may increase your empathy.
-Spending time alone sparks creativity.
-Solitary skills are good for mental health.
-Solitude offers restoration.

12. They don't feel the world owes them anything.

It's easy to get angry at the world for your failures or lack of success, but the truth is no one is entitled to anything. It must be earned.

"Life isn't meant to be fair," Morin writes. If some people experience more happiness or success than others, "that's life — but it doesn't mean you're owed anything if you were dealt a bad hand."

The key is to focus on your efforts, accept criticism, acknowledge your flaws, and don't keep score, Morin writes. Comparing yourself to others will only set you up for disappointment if you don't receive what you think you're owed, she says.

13. They don't expect immediate results.

"A willingness to develop realistic expectations and an understanding that success doesn't happen overnight is necessary if you want to reach your full potential," Morin writes. 

Mentally weak people are often impatient. They overestimate their abilities and underestimate how long change takes, she says, so they expect immediate results.

It's important to "keep your eyes on the prize" and relentlessly work towards your long-term goals. There will be failures along the way, but if you measure your progress and look at the big picture, success will become attainable

 

 

 

Posted by: Chris AT 05:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 01 2015

Violence and the Price of Righteousness

Written by Chris G

Is there a price to pay for righteousness?

Before we go further, understand, I don’t mean the sinless, perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus; the kind of righteousness that can only be attained through Him and in Him. No; I’m referring to righteousness as it pertains to legislated law as the law pertains to violence.

Is there any righteousness in violence and what makes one violent man any more righteous than another?

Nearly every country, certainly every western country, has laws that address violence; when and why violence is acceptable and under what conditions it is acceptable as well as what penalties under the law can be assessed for engaging in violence.

Even as far as the international community is concerned, the Geneva Conventions with its treaties and protocols have been ratified to some degree or another by 196 countries.

Article 3, relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts states in part;

the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

  • violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
  • taking of hostages;
  • outrages upon dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; and
  • the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
  • The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

It would seem to most that violence is not acceptable, but at any given time we can browse newspapers or television and see that violence occurs every day in every location.

Can violence be acceptable under local law? The short answer is yes.

In my home country of Canada, the Criminal Code of Canada states, regarding the acceptable use of violence:

  • 34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.
  • (2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if;
  • (a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
  •  (b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm. [R.S. c.C-34, s.34.]

This shows that by our federal law, violence CAN be acceptable.

Is this to say we can run around beating each other to a pulp?

Of course not; there can be heavy criminal penalties levied for unprovoked and even provoked violence as it relates to accepted use of force guidelines.

 Now we come to righteousness concerning violence and the individual price that is paid by those who are equipped to use violence righteously.

A violent man can be seen as righteous even as he is engaged in violence because he doesn’t SEEK to engage in violence; he AVOIDS it.

We know or can recognize situations that are likely to turn violent and we move away from these situations seeking to distance ourselves and our loved ones from needless volatility.

 We can come face to face with bravado and ego based violence, and avoid physical manifestations by placating aggressors and playing to their ego. A small victory for an ego based aggressor and a small price to pay for the righteous violent man.

Living a lifestyle in which we train for real world violence and pressure testing our skills on a regular basis gives us the confidence and ability to engage in violence effectively, yet discerning the necessary time and place for it.  

Living this lifestyle in quiet confidence and avoiding violence when possible gives us moral license to actively engage in it when there is no other alternative and come through without criminal penalty because we have paid the price in ego when lesser men would not lose face due to fragile self-esteem and false confidence, and have been held criminally accountable.

A righteous violent man realizes there is no victory in the use of violence for purposes of intimidation and unmerited aggression. These are the tactics of the criminal; these are the tactics of the weak hearted.

The righteous violent man will walk away and avoid a confrontation unless it’s necessary to protect himself, those in his care or those who can’t protect themselves; this is when the righteous violent man shows his quality, tenacity and strength. He is seen as a hero. This is when all of the placating of egos, avoidance and “losing face” pays off.

This is the price of righteousness in violence. 

 

 

Posted by: Chris AT 10:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 24 2015

What is Situational Awareness

Situational awareness can be described as a personal comprehension of the people, places and things around us and how we interact with these, directly or indirectly, under present circumstances. How your perception reflects the realities of the environment you’re in and the part you play, the effect or lack of effect, you have on the potential events within that environment define the level of your situational awareness.

Situational awareness is a mindset more than a hard skill, because of this it can be exercised by anyone willing and disciplined enough to cultivate good situational awareness. On an everyday citizen level, it serves to identify criminal behavior and possible personal threats as well as other hazardous situations.

The starting point in development of good situational awareness is to recognize that threats exist; we walk a fine line everyday of being victimized or not. Not coming to grips with this realization, ignoring or denying we are potentially at risk at any given point in time makes us very unlikely to be able to recognize and avoid a threat or deal with a situation when we are face to face with it. In many instances, this can lead to injury or death.

Understand that WE, the individual, are ultimately responsible for our own personal security.

We need to realize that unless a police officer happens to be witness to a hazardous situation we become involved with, the police officer’s involvement is really only to deal with the aftermath and write the incident report. We MUST take ownership of our, as well as our family, friends and neighbours personal security.

A good first step is to pay attention to our intuition; those “gut feelings” we get when a voice tells us, “Something isn’t right.” In Gavin De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear, most, if not all actual documented cases, victims of violent encounters stated that they felt that something wasn’t right or something about a person or situation seemed off prior to the incident occurring and in hindsight, that they wish they would have listened to that “gut feeling”.

Our subconscious mind can notice subtle signs of danger that our conscious mind has a hard time recognizing, quantifying and articulating. Good situational awareness is the concerted, conscious effort we need to engage in to give credence to those “gut feelings” as well as who and what is going on around us, all in the midst of ongoing distraction. With everything going on in our lives both internally and externally, even obvious threats can go unnoticed and catch us off guard so we need to condition ourselves to be observant while engaging in our day to day activities.

 When we are oblivious to what is going on around us we are vulnerable to victimization. In the words of world renowned security expert Kelly McCann, an attack happens when conditions are most advantageous to the attacker and least advantageous to the intended victim.

 

Situational Awareness Levels

At any given point we act within different levels of situational awareness which are described in many different ways.

Scott Stewart V.P. of Tactical Analysis for Stratfor Global Intelligence categorizes these into five levels and illustrates them analogous to vehicle driving; they are termed “tuned out”, “relaxed awareness”, “focused awareness”, “high alert”, and “comatose”.

    

Tuned Out- If you have ever been driving a route that you have driven many, many time, for example a daily commute, and you have arrived at your destination or any given point on the commute and thought to yourself, “How did I get here without even realizing it?” , you have experienced being in the tuned out state.

Relaxed awareness- Can be described as defensive driving, you’re relaxed but you’re also on the lookout for other drivers or other hazards on the road. Driving defensively doesn’t tire you out and you can drive in this state indefinitely. If you have ever approached an intersection and felt like another approaching driver may not stop and you are prepared to take evasive action due to the fact you have seen him coming, you have experienced being in a state of relaxed awareness.

Focused Awareness- Is like driving in inclement weather or hazardous road conditions. These are times we have both hands on the steering wheel, don’t take our eyes off the road and constantly, intently watch other drivers; “white knuckle driving”. This may take place at rush hour, driving through a snow storm or driving in another country where driving habits, etiquette or road rules are not what you are used to.

High Alert- This can be described as the moment you are driving in a snow storm and you hit an ice patch and your vehicle starts to go out of control; an “oh shit” moment when we are hit with an adrenaline rush. Even though your vehicle has gone out of full control for the moment, because you were already in a “focused awareness” level of awareness, you are able to act quickly and effectively to regain control and keep going. Even though we encountered that “oh shit” moment and experienced an adrenaline dump, we could deal with the situation because we are not caught completely off guard.

Comatose- This is another “oh shit” moment but in this case, the circumstances of a given situation catch us completely off guard. When we are in a comatose state of awareness we are so off guard that we are unable to act or even react so we literally mentally freeze. This can manifest with panic-induced paralysis or even unconsciousness in the form of fainting. This is obviously a very dangerous level of situational awareness because it leaves us the most vulnerable to be victimized. This can be described as that moment you are driving down the road oblivious to what is going on around you, a vehicle runs a stop sign and you become the “deer in the headlights” and are unable to do anything more than stare at the vehicle about to collide with you. This mental freezing prevents us from acting or reacting as we are unable to process the visual information we are presented with. In these types of situations we can go into a state of denial; a “this can’t be happening” moment. Victims of violent crime often report that it was like they were watching it happen to someone else, like an “out of body experience”.

 

All of these levels of situational awareness require a different amount of mental energy which directly results in physical energy expenditure.

We simply can’t operate at a high alert level for an extended period of time due to the physical manifestations of the mental stress involved. The same can be said for focused awareness; therefore, relaxed awareness is the optimal level of situational awareness to operate at consistently because we are mentally able to operate at this level indefinitely without stress and physical fatigue.

Considering the different levels of situational awareness, we need to be able to recognize when we need to shift from one to another in order to avoid a situation before we are in one.

Armed with this information, we can categorize various situations we face according to potential hazard level involved. For example, using an ATM at night in a rough neighbourhood is potentially more hazardous than using an ATM at 10 a.m. in a more upscale neighbourhood.

In an ever changing world where situations can happen and escalate very quickly, good situational awareness can help us avoid hazardous situations were possible. The next step in personal security is being able to de-escalate a situation or if need be, physically address it.

 

Posted by: Chris AT 04:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 21 2015

Man in hospital after shooting overnight

No arrests yet made in the case, victim being questioned

CBC News Posted: Jul 19, 2015 12:36 PM MT Last Updated: Jul 19, 2015 12:36 PM MT

Police are investigating an apparent shooting that sent one man to hospital early Sunday morning. 

The man walked into the hospital just after midnight, suffering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. He is now being questioned by police. 

Investigators are now focused on two areas — one at 95th Street and 111th Avenue and another at 101st Street and 108th Avenue — where gunfire was reported.

No arrests have been made.

Posted by: Chris AT 05:36 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 21 2015

July 19, 2015 Updated : July 19, 2015 | 6:25 pm

Young man dead, one person in custody after stabbing in northwest Calgary

By Lucie Edwardson Metro

 

A young man is dead after an early-morning stabbing in northwest Calgary, according to police.

Officers responded to an altercation at an apartment in the 4000 block of 19 Street NW just after 1:30 a.m. and found an 18-year-old man suffering from stab wounds.

Det. Graeme Smiley said the man was transported to hospital in life-threatening condition and later died of his injuries.

Homicide investigators were interviewing numerous people in relation to the incident Sunday and had taken one person into custody for questioning.

The apartment is in a building that’s home to the McMan Youth Family and Community Association, which runs a transitional housing program for at-risk youth, according to other residents.

Calgary Police officers gather evidence at the scene Sunday morning.

C. P. lives above the apartment where the altercation took place. He said the occupant, an 18-year-old woman, has only been living in there for a few months.

P. said police have been to the residence for “domestic issues” in the past.

“It is uncomfortable,” he said. “Police have been here before for fights and things, but nothing like this.”

He said due to the nature of the program in the building, it’s hard to get to know neighbours.

“So many people come in and out of here, so you never really get to know the people who live around you.”

Steve Miller said he heard the commotion while he was walking his dog in the area early Sunday morning.

“All of a sudden there were cops everywhere,” he said.

Miller said the situation doesn’t change the how he feels about his community.

“This is the city we live in,” he said “It’s everywhere.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. The identity of the victim will not be released by CPS until it is completed.

Posted by: Chris AT 05:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 16 2015


Edmonton Home Invasions beginning to worry police

BY PAMELA ROTHEDMONTON SUN

FIRST POSTED: THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2015 01:53 PM MDT | UPDATED: THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2015 02:04 PM MDT

An increase in violent home invasions throughout the city is causing concern among Edmonton police.

So far this month, officers have investigated 10 home invasions and approximately 60 this year, working out to an average of about eight per month.

They aren’t limited to one specific group, said police, and are targeted towards people involved in the drug culture. Random home invasions are rare, but there have been occasions where suspects have targeted the wrong house. Many of them have turned violent.

“It’s one drug group ripping off another drug group and now they are going to extreme. Lots of violence lately and some of these are just low level drug dealers,” said Staff Sgt. Bill Clark with the Edmonton police homicide unit.

“It seems to be just a trend. They seem to be evolving to either ripping people off or getting easy cash or drugs.”

Clark describes the city’s latest homicide on Sunday morning as a home invasion type of crime. Following reports of multiple shots fired, police arrived at a home near 49 Avenue and 111A Street to find a 27-year-old female bleeding in a basement suite. She died before getting to a hospital. Clark noted the woman was believed to have ties with the city’s drug trade.

In early June, Staff Sgt. Kevin Berge with the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) unit said officers have focused their attention on those committing the violent home invasions. It’s a trend police began to notice in late 2013 and hasn’t slowed down since then.

Last February, 23-year-old Deng Mathew Garang Tong was fatally wounded in a stabbing spree that injured four others in the area of 102 Street and 17 Avenue. The incident was drug-related and began as a home invasion at a known drug house.

“When EDGE gets involved with that type of crime, we’re not seizing any drugs or weapons – it’s violence reduction,” said Berge. “These guys are torturing people and they are getting the wrong address, so they are affecting people outside the drug trade quite heavily.”

 

 

Posted by: Chris AT 04:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 16 2015

July 16, 2015 Updated : July 16, 2015 | 3:12 pm

Edmonton police seek suspects in weekend sexual assault

By Andrea Ross Metro Edmonton

 

Edmonton Police Service Edmonton police are asking for the public's help in locating two suspects allegedly involved in a sexual assault July 5.

 

Edmonton Police is asking for the public’s help in identifying two suspects who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the city’s south side on July 5.

Police say a 36-year-old woman was walking alone at 4 a.m. in the Walker Lakes area of the Summerside neighbourhood near 80 Street and 12 Avenue on Sunday, July 5 when she heard loud music coming from an open garage near a lane. She saw two men, and began running when she heard someone whistle. She was then allegedly knocked to the ground by two men.

One of the men allegedly sexually assaulted her while the other held her down and stole some belongings from her. She was released when she screamed for help, and ran to a nearby street where she flagged down a passing off-duty taxi.

The first suspect is described as a Caucasian male, 6’1 tall and 230 lbs. He has spiked short brown hair with a trimmed beard and mustache, and brown eyes. He was wearing a long-sleeved hooded jacket. Police have released a composite sketch of this suspect.

The second suspect is described as tall and thin, and was also wearing a long-sleeved hooded jacket.

EPS detectives are looking for anyone who saw or heard the alleged attack, suspects of the complainant, the taxi driver who assisted her, or the location of the garage that was playing loud music early that morning.

 

Posted by: Chris AT 04:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 03 2015

Edmonton shooting leaves man dead

BY TREVOR ROBB, EDMONTON SUN

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2015 07:20 AM MDT | UPDATED: SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2015 05:33 PM MDT

Homicide cops are probing the death of a man — jailed for his part in a grisly 2007 drug-related dismemberment slaying — in his Lewis Estates driveway after neighbours heard shots ring out Thursday night.

Jason Costouros, 32, was found about 11:30 p.m. fatally injured on the driveway in front of the well-kept, pink-stucco home in the normally quiet neighbourhood of Lewis Estates, near 212th Street and 88A Avenue. The home is owned by Jason’s parents, John and Teresa Costouros.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said her 12-year-old daughter woke her up after she heard gunshots and the sound of a skidding car just before midnight.

"I wasn’t sure if she heard the right thing but when I heard somebody crying, that’s when we kind of figured it out, and then the police showed up."

In 2008, a 25-year-old Costouros plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was convicted to 4 1/2 years in prison in connection with the murder of David Wong.

On Feb. 21, 2007, Wong, 23, was discovered slain and partially dismembered in a 14th-floor apartment at 8820 Jasper Ave. at around midnight.

At the time of the killing, Costouros was on parole after he had been serving a six-year sentence for aggravated assault.

When police barged into the suite, they found the grim scene after a 13th-floor tenant reported blood dripping from his bathroom ceiling.

Officers first noticed an "overpowering smell" of bleach and other cleaning products and then observed a large blood stain on the carpet leading to a bathroom. In the bathroom, cops saw rubber gloves covered in blood on the floor and a butcher knife before seeing Wong’s partially dismembered body in the tub.

His detached tattooed arms and a detached leg were later found in green garbage bags near the body and police determined a hacksaw had been used to remove them.

Wong, who had ties to the city drug trade, died as a result of multiple stab wounds, which were estimated at approximately 158 and mostly to the back.

Michael Alexander Gray, was also sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison, while Nicholas Richard Harris, 27, who a record for drug trafficking and aggravated assault, was sentenced to four years and Kyle Lloyd Grapentine, 25, was sentenced to 32 months. It was the first offence for Grapentine.

Police have not said whether anyone is in custody in connection with Thursday’s killing, whether they have any suspects, or if there is a risk to the public at this time.

Homicide detectives and police had cleared the scene by about 8 a.m. Friday.

The neighbourhood was once again quiet. Amidst the suburban homes, the sound of golf balls being struck at the nearby Lewis Estates golf course could be heard.

An autopsy confirmed Costouros died of a gun shot wound, making the death Edmonton’s eighth homicide of the year.

Other recent Edmonton gun crimes:

* May 25 — A 46-year-old man is charged with attempted murder after a 33-year-old man was gunned down May 25 at a west-end construction site. The victim was found suffering multiple gunshots and his coworkers were holding on to the gunman when police arrived to the 184 Street and Callingwood Road scene just after 7 a.m. William Kelly Hawkins is charged with attempted murder with a firearm; use of a firearm while committing an indictable offence; careless use and storage of a firearm; possession of a dangerous weapon; unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon; possession of a weapon in a vehicle; and possession of a loaded, prohibited or restricted firearm.

* May 23 — Edmonton police are investigating a downtown shooting May 23 that sent three people to hospital. Around 2:20 a.m. on Saturday, officers were called to a report of two people getting into an altercation with firearms outside a nightclub in the area of 100 Street and Jasper Avenue. Three bystanders — two males and a female — received non-life-threatening injuries when shots were fired. * May 24 — And the hunt continues for suspects in a Sunday night shooting near the End Zone Pub. In that case, a 26-year-old man was standing near the pub when he interacted with some people who pulled up in a white sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Malibu. Shortly after, the man was shot and the car drove away. The injured man went to the nearby pub where he was assisted by staff who contacted police.

* May 18 — Around 9:30 p.m., police received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a possible impaired driver. An altercation took place when two officers tried to stop the vehicle in the area of Victoria Trail and Abbotsfield Road. In possession of a sawed-off shotgun, the 31-year-old driver shot one of the officers and in turn, the driver — known to police — was fatally shot by police.

• April 24 — A man was transported to hospital suffering from gunshot wounds after gunplay in Boyle Street, near 93 Street and 103A Avenue just before 4 a.m. Investigators believe the shooting was targeted.

• April 20 — A 25-year-old man was left clinging to life in hospital after a morning shooting in west Edmonton. Police called to the scene found the man suffering multiple gunshots wounds in a green space near 184 Street and 93 Avenue about 12:40 a.m.

• April 6 — Edmonton’s last homicide was April 6, when a 25-year-old man was fatally shot in a west Edmonton industrial area. That killing, police sources said, was fuelled by a drug debt.

Posted by: Chris AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 27 2015

‘Daddy fought, Daddy cried, Daddy went to sleep’: Impact statements read at sentencing for youth killer

 

By Ryan Cormier, Edmonton Journal May 27, 2015 7:55 AM

 

 John Kwiatkowski, 29, was murdered while he slept in April 2011 in his northeast Edmonton home.

For an hour, family of John Kwiatkowski told court how the random murder of their cherished son and brother shattered their lives four years ago. As his crying mother Cindy said, they could’ve talked about him for days.

Kwiatkowski, 29, was murdered while he slept in April 2011 by a 17-year-old during a random break-in. His infant daughter witnessed the killing.

“Never in my life did I think my son’s life would be taken away by murder while his little girl watched,” Cindy Kwiatkowski said. “If this can happen to John, it can happen to anyone.”

Nick Kwiatkowski cried as he spoke about his life of looking up to his older brother, who considered his family his best friends.

“He was the one to cheer you up, no matter what kind of day you were having. He was the greatest father a little girl could ask for. She’ll never again hear his bedtime stories.”

Kwiatkowski’s family read their victim impact statements Tuesday at a hearing to determine if his killer will be sentenced for second-degree murder as a youth or adult.

More than a dozen family members sobbed and left wet tissues across the gallery benches as they spoke about their inability to close the gap the murder left in their lives. Previously close, they have drifted apart as their family gatherings end in tears.

Through the misery, the 22-year-old in the prisoner’s box sat with his head bowed. He was nearly 18 when he randomly broke into Kwiatkowski’s Rundle Heights home the night of April 13, 2011.

Eight days before the murder, the youth escaped custody in Regina and drove to Edmonton in a series of stolen cars.

Armed with a metal pipe, the youth entered Kwiatkowski’s home through the open front door. In the master bedroom, he struck Kwiatkowski in the head 20 times. Kwiatkowski’s two-year-old daughter came into the bedroom and was inadvertently hit by the pipe as the youth swung it at her father. She suffered minor injuries to her face and hand.

“(The youth) took her back to her bedroom and helped her get back to sleep,” Crown prosecutor Jim Stewart told court.

Later, the girl told family members what she’d seen. “Daddy fought, Daddy cried, Daddy went to sleep.”

The youth drank a ginger ale and left his DNA on the empty can before he fled. Kwiatkowski’s wife, a night-shift nurse, discovered her husband’s body and her sleeping daughter when she arrived home.

In May 2012, the youth confessed the killing to an Edmonton detective.

“I was drunk and I just pretty much took my anger right out on him,” the youth said during an interview. He claimed he wouldn’t have entered Kwiatkowski’s house if the door was locked and would’ve eventually “took my anger out on someone else on the street.”

The hearing ended abruptly when defence lawyer Peter Royal challenged the qualifications of a psychiatrist who spoke with the youth. A delay to answer that challenge is expected to take weeks.

rcormier@edmontonjournal.com

Posted by: Chris AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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