Yellowknife

Victim of aggravated assault in Yellowknife passes away


The victim of an aggravated assault outside Yellowknife's sobering centre earlier this week has passed away, police said.

RCMP said on Thursday a man has been arrested and charged in connection with Tuesday's incident.

Police identified Mark Poodlat, 36, as the man who passed away in an Edmonton hospital on Thursday morning. Video footage showed him being punched several times while outside the building on 50 Street.

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Victor Ugyuk, 32, of Yellowknife, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and two counts of breaching probation, RCMP said.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr Poodlat, and also with our entire community as we grieve the tragic loss of a community member," stated Inspector Alex Laporte, commander of the Yellowknife detachment.

Police were called to the scene at 5:40pm on Tuesday, after which Poodlat was transported to Edmonton by medevac. An autopsy is to take place while a homicide investigation led by the RCMP's major crimes unit continues.

RCMP are still asking any witnesses to the assault, or anyone who noticed suspicious activity in the area at the time the assault took place, to contact them at 669-1111. You can alternatively contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

The tragic death of Mark Poodlat comes just days after the territorial government published an independent evaluation of the day shelter and sobering centre's operations.

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That study in part called for additional safety patrols outside the building. The territorial government agreed with the finding and said patrols would be an important short-term response to issues on the street.

In August, health and social services minister Glen Abernethy said those patrols had already begun.

However, the schedule for such patrols and their duration was not publicly specified. Nor are such security and safety patrols ordinarily continual in nature.

Footage of the incident published by NNSL remains online.

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