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Truro man charged in Calgary assault

Calgary Police Service
Calgary Police Service - Contributed

A 26-year old man who grew up in Truro faces charges in the brutal assault of a southwest Calgary woman in her home more than a week ago.

Matthew Brown, a Mount Royal University business education student and former captain of the university’s hockey team, has been charged in the attack of a Mount Royal professor in her mid-60s. The professor was attacked and brutalized with a broom handle, sources told CBC. She has a broken hand, torn tendons and bruising, and she requires surgery.

The woman awoke to the sound of her glass door being smashed. When she investigated what sounded like an explosion, she was attacked by a naked man who hit her repeatedly with the broom handle. She escaped the attack, locked herself in the bathroom and made her way to a neighbour’s house to call 911.

A family spokesperson said it would take “a long time for her to get over this trauma.”

The university said that the Mount Royal connection appears coincidental.

“A Mount Royal faculty member was the victim of a home break and enter and assault,” the university said in a statement. “The individual who was arrested and is accused of the break and enter and assault is a current Mount Royal student. There is no indication that this was targeted, nor any indication that the two individuals had ever met.

“The student was suspended and will not be permitted on campus or at MRU events during the course of the suspension.”

The woman’s family told media the suspect had been at a party near her house. The family has said they were told by police that the suspect may have been on drugs at the time of the attack.

Brown was to finish a business program at the Calgary university this spring.

Brown captained the Cougars in his third and final season with the Canada West Universities Athletic Association team.

Before his university career, Brown played minor hockey in Truro and one season of major midget in Pictou County. The five-foot-11, 190-pound winger was drafted in the first round of the 2007 Quebec league entry draft by the Moncton Wildcats. Brown played most of three seasons in Moncton before being traded to the Quebec Remparts, where he played another full season. He moved on to the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the British Columbia Hockey League and then joined the Cougars.

In a story published 11 months ago in the Calgary Journal, Mount Royal coach Bert Gilling credited Brown with much of the team’s success.

“He keeps control of the locker room,” Gillingsaid. “He’s such a great guy, he means so much to everybody in our program.”

Journal writer Dan Khavkin reported that Brown was constantly characterized as the guy you can’t hate. The professor, whose identity is not being revealed to protect her privacy, is described as having dedicated her life to her students. She will be off work for at least the rest of the semester.

“Our first and foremost concern is for the well-being of the victim, who was injured and is now recuperating,” the Mount Royal statement said. “The university has been in touch with the individual to offer support and best wishes for recovery. Although we understand the potential for questions, out of respect for privacy and because the matter is before the court, the university is not able to comment further at this time.”

With convictions, residential break-ins with assaults typically result in prison terms. However, Charles John Edward Barrons of Ontario was handed a suspended sentence with three years’ probation after pleading guilty last February in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to a charge of break, enter and committing an assault at a Halifax apartment.

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