(Victoria Buzz)

Six years later, two men have been charged in an Oak Bay home invasion that turned violent and seriously injured one woman.

The incident, which occurred on the morning of April 25th, 2017, triggered a manhunt and lockdowns at nearby schools and left the quiet community shaken.

The woman inside the home in the 2500-block of Esplanade Road was alone at the time and suffered severe stab wounds as a result of the attack.

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The victim was rushed to hospital where she would undergo surgeries to reattach three fingers and insert steel plates in her broken arm—additionally, she suffered a dislocated shoulder and required stitches and staples in her head.

In a media release, Saanich Police say 30-year-old Kaspar Handspiker was arrested Sunday near Maple Ridge. He is charged with aggravated assault, breaking and entering and committing an indictable offence.

The second suspect, 52-year-old Christopher Standell, is charged with attempting to commit an offence or acting as an accessory after the fact.

“This high-profile vicious attack had a significant impact in our community,” said Oak Bay Chief Constable Mark Fisher.

“Supporting this investigation has been a priority for our department and I hope that these charges bring some level of comfort to the victim and those impacted by this crime,” said Fisher.

Police say the investigation required a great deal of commitment, dedication, and perseverance on the part of the investigative team.

“This is another example of the value of our service agreement that exists between the Oak Bay Police Department and the Saanich Police Department for major crime investigative services.”


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The victim, Nermeen Alireza, released a statement expressing relief and gratitude following the arrests.

“My family and I are relieved to hear of the arrests, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Saanich and Oak Bay Police,” said Nermeen Alireza.

“I am truly grateful to everyone that was involved and would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to both police departments, the Oak Bay Fire department, Ambulance Service, hospital staff and surgeons, as well as the Island Hand Therapy Clinic.”

Due the ongoing investigation, police say they unable to provide any further details.

The initial incident

At around 7:30 a.m., on April 25th, 2017, Alireza was attacked while alone in her home by an unknown man.

She heard noises coming from the kitchen area, and when she went to investigate she found a man there, who was not known to her.

She confronted the man and an altercation took place, resulting in her being struck several times with an edged weapon, believed to be a machete.

The woman was able to call police but the suspect fled before officers could arrive.

At the time of the incident, the only description of Alireza provided was that the man was heavy-set, in his 20s, and was last seen wearing a brown jacket, dark pants, and a baseball cap.

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